by Bill Hines and Howard Eyrich
Note: My friend and colleague Bill Hines sent the following to me. I trust you will find it to be helpful to you and those you love. The study guide is included below in the hopes it will provide you some guidance as you consider and face the fear swirling around us. In a world full of coronavirus and uncertainty, it is a blessing to have the wisdom of these two men of God.
Greetings in Our Lord Jesus,
I pray this short note finds you safe and well. As we all share in the current pandemic it is a time for all of us to share the teaching of our Lord that helps us all understand our roles and persevere in the faith.
Many are fearful and understandably so. This virus is an invisible enemy but as we hear in the media, we are not left without a plan for staying well. I personally have never washed my hands so often. It reminds me also that as Followers of Christ our enemy is also invisible. Like the virus, it is to our own peril if we do not pay attention and fight against the enemies of the Christian which are categorized as our war against the world, the flesh and the Devil. We should be fighting the battle against these enemies daily. I will say more about these in a note in a few days but for now, let’s focus on fear.
Fear can be helpful such as the fear of running out into the street without looking or taking medicine we have not been prescribed by a professional. The problem is when fear gets in the way of our trust in God. One of my favorite passages is from Proverbs 3:5-6: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. This has to do with doing the Lord’s will in the Lord’s way and in the Lord’s timing.
If you are riddled by fear about this pandemic or other issues of life, I invite you to do what I have learned to do. When I fear I simply picture Jesus asking me, “Will you trust me?” When I answer “Yes” I always find in His Word a plan to walk through life trusting Him.
I have attached a Study Guide that Howard Eyrich and I put together years ago. Perhaps you can adapt it to your situation and use it to help your family as well. As we walk faithfully with Him, He is faithful to see us His work, in His way and in His timing. As the Apostle said: 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 1 Cor. 5:6-7.
May God grant you Hs creativity in using your spiritual gifts during these unusual times in our global history.
A Study Guide
To overcome fear you will have to do some hard work. As you work through this issue remember that fear is a response to something (dogs) or someone (authority figure) or circumstance (the dark). Others find they have a generalized foreboding that something bad is always about to happen. The following exercise is intended to help you begin to understand what has led to and triggered your fear and through the renewing of your mind put on a new kind of trust in God. Remember that some fear is a respect for a potentially dangerous circumstance such as walking in a dark parking garage and taking precautions so you will be safe. Other types of fear can arise from an inadequate view of God that results in a lack of trust in Him.
- When do you first remember being a person of fear as you now perceive it?
- Keep a daily journal this week noting the day, time, and circumstances during which you find yourself fearful.
- Read the pamphlet What to do When Fear Grips You by Jay Adams [edited]. Write out a three-sentence personal application and be ready to discuss it.
- Memorize Matthew 10:29-30 & Philippians 4:6-9.
- Write out a personal definition for fear.
- What various situations or conditions might tempt you to fear (such as storms, criticism, etc.)?
- Study the following passages of Scripture. Write down what each passage has to say about fear and/or overcoming fear.
2 Timothy 1:7
1 John 4:18-19
1 John 5:13-15
9. How do you think the following could be useful in overcoming fear?
- separating the fear experience from the fear object
 From Homework CD for Biblical Counselors, Vol. 1, by Howard A. Eyrich and William L. Hines. ã Covenant Press & Growth Advantage Communications, 2000. Permission granted to copy for use in counseling. Not for resale.