I ran outside today. It had stopped raining. It’s been a few days since I could say something like that. The air smelled good, filled with the scent of growing things. But also woodsmoke, since temperatures still start out in the high 30s, early 40s every day.
I cruised downhill. I reminded myself that I’d have to go back up again, and not to get too cocky. The skies partly cleared, drifting clouds floating above me. Lavender bushes put out their fragrance as I ran by.
I thought about fear. I tend to pick up the emotions of people I’m close to, and fear seems predominant at the moment. Of course, my own fears add to the muddle. It’s fear about the future, fear of failure, all the ones that keep you up at night. At the conference we attended this weekend, one of the speakers reminded us that as believers, we’re thermostats, not thermometers. We don’t reflect the current attitude; we change it. I don’t want to be a thermometer, measuring the feelings of the people around me. I want to change the atmosphere.
I started reminding myself of the scriptures that deal with fear:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
I like the New King James Version better, though:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. – Psalm 55:22
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. – 1 John 4:18
Fear is crippling. Fear is a cheater, tripping us up at the end of a good race. Fear keeps us from thinking clearly and creatively. Fear keeps us from all that God has for us. I am meditating on these scriptures today as the day progresses. I’m going to take my thoughts into captivity and trust Jesus for the outcome. I’m going to start speaking faith and not doubt. What are your favorite scriptures to change the atmosphere?