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Fear makes people do crazy things. Lately I’ve noticed a lot of the people I care about are carrying extra tension on a daily basis. It seems the level of anxiety is bubbling up around us and. If you are a follower of Jesus, you have an opportunity to help bring peace to those around you by the way you respond.

We are in a unique season as a nation. The rate of change both inside and outside our country is hard to ignore. Just finding a place to plant your feet for more than 24 hours seems like a big challenge. So how do we conquer fear in a time like this?

Here are 7 words that can ease your fears…

God Is Here

When Jesus first arrived, the words that accompanied His coming were, “Do not be afraid.” God’s presence changes everything. Like asking your Daddy to hold your hand in the dark, knowing you are not alone and that the most powerful Being in the universe is right beside you brings an unexplainable comfort.

One Question: Are you acting like you’re all alone?

One Step: Think of the toughest challenge in your life and imagine God approaching that problem on your behalf.

His Love Is Perfect

If all you have are your circumstances to tell you what God is like, you may come to the conclusion that He is a meanie. If you live long enough, you will face a season of turmoil. Even the short ones seem like they last forever. It’s times like that we need to lean into something far more powerful than a circumstance. We are invited to depend on the perfect love of God.

The Apostle John teaches that “perfect love expels all fear” (1 John 4:18). In other words, you cannot be focused on God’s love and filled with fear at the same time. They are mutually exclusive.

John isn’t talking about the fluffy kind of love we sometimes know. He’s talking about real love – agape love, which is self-sacrificing and unconditional. John points out that our fear stems from our insecurity about where we stand in relationship to our Creator. And he reminds us that our security comes from knowing that Christ has removed the stain of sin and shame from our lives and given us a new identity as the children of God.

That is perfect love. It changes how we see our lives because we can remember that everything we endure has been filtered by the Father, allowed in our lives for a season and for a reason, and that God is working good things through it. But it also reminds us that we are not home yet — that as His children we are waiting for our inheritance in eternity.

The next time you start to feel anxiety creep up on you, say these seven words to yourself: God is here. His love is perfect. If you believe that, fear doesn’t stand a chance in your life, no matter what the circumstance.

Gabe Kolstad -

Gabe is the Lead Pastor at Westside Community Church in the Portland, Oregon area where he serves with his best friends. He has had the privilege of leading Westside through a number of exciting changes, from turnaround to relocation to multi-site. Gabe has a dream for seeing new churches planted, and a passion for connecting with leaders to make a difference in Portland and the Northwest. He is a trainer, a coach to pastors. Gabe is married to his Jr. High sweetheart, Melissa, and they have 3 children: Dawson, Caitlin, and Caleb. They love great food, traveling and finding new adventures together.

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