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  • Bob Brooks

How to Deal with Financial Fear

There are a lot of things about money that can overwhelm you. Today, the stress of COVID-19 adds to the stress. A long list of questions weigh heavy on our minds: What happens if I get sick? Will I have enough money to pay bills? Will I run out of money? Will I ever get out of debt? How will I pay the IRS if I end up owing them money to the IRS? How am I going to pay for college for the kids? Will I ever retire? Most fears start out as worries. If you have lived long enough, you adapt a survival extinct for worry. However, it is when "the fear trigger or event" happens, and the worry turns to fear. We are never prepared for that scenario. This is when a financial worry turned fear starts to look more like reality. That is when the financial fear is staring you right in the face. It can start the heart racing if you let yourself think too deeply into the what-ifs. It can even create a mini-panic attack. You might be prayed up, become inspired during daily reading in the Word, and feeling better about your financial situation. God might have even shown you a sign that left the impression - everything is going to be ok. Then, just like that, the fear seeps back in and your mind is off to the races creating every bad case scenario (that probably won't happen anyway). There are two things to do at that moment. First, stop mentally rehearsing everything that could go wrong. That is like watching a rerun of Fixer Upper. You know how the house is going to turn out. If that part of your brain was a muscle, you would be a guest columnist in the Muscle and Fitness Magazine. How about working on the part of your mind that is allowing the worry and fear to happen in the first place? You have to train your brain. Make up your mind you are not going to accept that state of mind anymore. After all, you are allowing it to happen. It is your own interpretation of how your life is going. Always remember you have a choice between interpreting the scenario through fear and worry or filtering it through God's love for you. Start by saying to yourself, cancel. Cancel the thought! Then... Second, meditate on what I call the Trifecta of Financial Hope and Confidence. These three verses have always stood out to me. Deuteronomy 31:6 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Jeremiah 29:1 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Philippians 4:6 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Here is the trifecta in a summary: Do not be anxious about anything because God will never leave you nor forsake you. God, through the Holy Spirit, is with you every step of the way. God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you. All of this is true because God ALREADY has plans to give you hope and a future. Be Thankful and Show Gratitude in all things! What do we really have to fear when the Almighty God is in our life?

I have read it in literature, dare I say on the internet, and from the pulpit that "Do not Fear" appears in the Bible 365 times - one time for every day of the year. I have never seen proof. However, I like the notion and it wouldn't surprise me. Do you believe it? I think that is the problem with the Christian walk. If we really believed what God's Word said we would think differently. Said another way, if we lived like the Holy Spirit lived INSIDE of us, we would handle (interpret) adversity a lot differently. Yet we worry and go through periods of fear. Try something for me - in fact, I will do the same thing. Either copy it to the notes section of your phone or print out this post and highlight the verses and the summary and place a copy at your desk, in your purse or wallet, by your bed, etc. and refer to it every time worry and fear creeps into your mind. Read the "trifecta" and thank God for everything that is happening in your life and thanks to God for resolving your His own time and His own way. "Present your requests to God" and watch as He orchestrates it in His perfect will for your life.

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