When you realize how fear works, you can learn how to be free of it!

By Peter DeWitt

365 times in the Bible, God says, don't be afraid. You need reminded daily not to be afraid!

Turn with me to Romans 8:24-25. I'm going to teach you something about fear. Once you realize what fear is, you can also learn how to get out of it. This is really helpful. So I want to teach the how. How do you get here?  

“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Rom. 8:24-25)

Hope is a positive imagination. If you already see it, then it's not hope anymore, right? Hope thinks about future.

If you have fear, I can promise you it's also about your future. It's never about your present. You might say, “I have fear about my past.” Well, that condemnation can go and that shame can go, but what you actually fear about your past is being rejected in the future. Your fear is still about your future.
When I was fly fishing two years ago, I got a hook stuck in my finger and it had a barb on it. Now I’m one of those people that can't watch blood. Praise God, I didn't become a doctor. So I had this barbed hook in my finger and I was terrified. I had to call Megan to calm me down. I was shaking with fear. Now, at the time, in the moment, I would have told you I was shaking with pain … that the pain was so strong! No. The fear about the potential pain of pulling it out is what was so strong! Do you understand? The fear was about the future. 

You're fearing your future. BUT you can also hope for your future.

Read this verse again. “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Look how easily “fear” can be substituted for “hope.”  
But fear that is seen is not fear; for why does one still fear what he sees? But if we fear what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with trepidation.

Do you see what I can almost interchange fear and hope in those verses? They're the same thing. 

Fear is negative imagination about what's going to happen. Hope is a positive imagination about what's going to happen.

Romans 15:13 says that as believers we can be abounding in hope, filled with all joy and peace in believing! “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This is what God wants to do for us!

We know that hope is the precursor to faith! Hebrews 11:1-2 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. Right? When you've got hope, then you get a promise from God connected to your hope and you declare that word and it releases faith to receive the thing that you've been hoping for!  

Here's how fear works. You have a negative expectation, a fear of what's going to happen, and then you start running your mouth about the bad that is about to happen. So you just released faith, but in the wrong direction!

If you're made in God's image, as a child of God, who can create the worlds with your words, why would any of us speak negative things over our lives? But we all do it.
Say this, “I will abound in hope. I'm filled with all joy and peace and believing.”
Here's what you need to do. You need to engage what I call your “what if pivot.”  

Fear is a “what if” statement. “What if someone finds out about what I did when I was a kid?" "What if this business meeting goes badly?" "What if there's a famine in the land?" "What if Goliath kills me?”

Right? But you can change every negative "what if" into a positive. Where do you find that? Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” 

It's in the place of His love and the place of His presence that He’ll give you a new view on the things that you're fearing!

So go into His presence and you say, “I've got a fear here. What is the hope that you want to give to me?”

After God speaks hope to you, you then you partner that hope with the word of God and now you release your faith by speaking faith and hope into that exact thing. Isn't that awesome! This is the power of your "what if pivot.”  

Consider this … Joseph could have said, “Oh God, you had what dream, Pharaoh?!? It's going to be a famine. What if we all die!”

No, what did Joseph say? He thought, “no, what if this is an opportunity that God's bringing me into the place of being a Prince that I always saw myself being? What if this is a chance to actually for me to position God's people well?”

What if, what if, what if?

What did David say? The other Israelites were saying, “what if Goliath kills us? What if the Philistines take us down?”

What if, what if, what if.  

David comes in and says, “what's Saul gonna give the guy that kills him?” He says, “what if I get my wife out of this? What if I gain favor with the King because I kill the ones that are attacking his children?”

Jesus could have said, “what if I die on the cross and I'm separated from God,” which He knew was going to happen.
But, instead He said, “what if there's so much joy set before me that all of these sons and daughters that are in this room right now are going to come into the family of God, that it actually makes it worth it all?”

Do you see the power of a what if pivot? You can take fear and turn it into a hope!  
Do not be afraid. You have to practice your “what if pivot.” That's a pathway that you can forge and learn to walk yourself out of fear and into a place of hope.  

You are either governing your life from a place of fear or governing your life from a place of hope.

 And I know that God just gave you the breakthrough that you need in your life. You're governing your life from a place of fear. You're leading your business from a place of fear or from a place of hope. You're running your relationships from a place of fear or from a place of hope. You're thinking about that hard conversation you need to have from a place of fear or a place of hope.

The hope you receive will not disappoint because the love of God has been shed abroad in your heart!

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