Dealing With Fear

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Dealing With Fear

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A young man recently asked me if this was the beginning of the end. I asked what he meant and he said, “You know, the end of the world, when the tribulation begins and Christ returns to the earth.” Some young people seem to be very worried about the world ending after terrible times of war and misery. After Sept. 11, the focus for many is on prophesied events that point to difficult times for the world and especially for the United States, Britain and other Western nations. Are you concerned about your future? At a recent teen Bible study, we explored some of the concerns of youth about the future and what it might mean to them. Some young people worry that they might not be able to marry and raise a family. Others are concerned about surviving the great traumas of world war with its grizzly threats of desolation by nuclear weapons. Another fear is the possibility of biological weapons that would cause gruesome deaths. Biblical advice Perhaps the best way to deal with the subject of teen fear is to put things into a godly perspective. God intends youth to be a time to rejoice. As Ecclesiastes 12:1 Ecclesiastes 12:1Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw near, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them;
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advises, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” Whether you are in the natural cycle of aging or the unnatural but predictable cycle of war, life is to be lived one day at a time. As King Solomon explained, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
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). How to remove sorrow The period of youth can be a wonderful time when talent is discovered and opportunities exploited. Having the freedom and blessings to learn, grow, travel and experiment can be as good as it gets. Sadly, some youth grow up where war, poverty and oppression rob them of their opportunity to rejoice. If you have these freedoms, thank God for these blessings and treat every day as an opportunity. You can always wish you had more, but stop and consider what you do have. If you could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following: * 61 Asians * 12 Europeans * 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south * 13 Africans * 52 female * 70 non-Christian * 5 people would possess a large share of the world’s wealth and all 5 would be from the United States * 80 would live in substandard housing * 70 would be unable to read and write * 50 would suffer from malnutrition * 1 would have a college education (From a speech given by Julian Bond, at Washington University, May 19, 2000, with some statistics updated from The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2002.) Ponder these concepts: If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthiest. If you can read this article, you are more blessed than billions of people in the world that cannot read at all (ibid). Be thankful Instead of worrying about what will happen, we can thank God for the opportunities we do have to make the most of our lives and ask God to work out His plan for those billions who are less fortunate. The fact that you are reading this article and have the desire to improve yourself shows that you are well ahead of the game. God wants a family and leaders to teach others. The difficult days that are prophesied are only a gateway to a wonderful world tomorrow. Trials make us stronger and show us the ways that work. Be active The apostle Paul reveals a major key to life in Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
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: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” It takes effort to be successful. Set some goals for your life doing what is profitable and good. Get a good education, learn to manage your funds, whether it be only a meager allowance or the fortune you make flipping burgers. Travel is good and being with friends who also want to follow God can be a great encouragement. Instead of wasting energy worrying about the frightful things that might happen, rejoice in the fact you can grow and develop as a potential child of God serving in His family. When evil comes, God will see us through. As the prophet Isaiah reveals, “In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you” (Isaiah 54:14 Isaiah 54:14In righteousness shall you be established: you shall be far from oppression; for you shall not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near you.
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). There is a way of life that does work and provides joy, happiness and eventually eternal life. Don’t get overly fearful about the events ahead of you that you cannot control. Seize the opportunities that God gives you to position yourself for a life of service. A great leader once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Rejoice in your youth and walk confidently in the way of the Lord.

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