Struggling with Fear

It’s that time of year again. Comical ghosts and witches hang from people’s trees, and corn mazes are celebrating Halloween by putting scary components into it.

Who knew that fear could make such money! Billions upon billions of dollars are spent a year to make us jump and scream, as we watch movies and videos that fuel our deepest nightmares. Why such an odd relationship with fear? We love it, but we hate it.

In the real world—past everything Halloween has to offer—there is much to be afraid of. Fearof.net reports the top 100 phobia’s list, with arachnophobia (fear of spiders) coming up first. Outside of our personal phobias, we fear death, destruction, and rejection. What are we to do, as Christians, when the pangs of fear come and anxiety causes us complete distress?

Psalm 56:3 gives us the antidote for ANY fear we might be facing.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3, ESV)

You may be saying, “Annalee, you don’t understand the amount or complexity of my anxiety. This just seems like an easy answer, a band aid to put on my problems. I need much more than this!” Friend, I want to encourage and be honest with you: I know the problem of anxiety well. I have been dealing with social anxiety and emetophobia, the fear of throwing up, for a little over 5 months now. At any time, my thoughts turn towards a plethora of anxiety-inducing thoughts, including the fear of throwing up in front of people, and the idea of throwing up itself. It has caused me extreme distress, not only mentally, but emotionally and physically, too. As if this were not enough, I am taking a Public Speaking class where these fears seem to have a much higher chance in my brain of actually happening!

Today, on the eve of having to give a group presentation, I want to say that I, too, know what you are going through—and that Jesus wants to give us truths to hold on to when the enemy and our own minds try to lie to us. I encourage you to place these verses in your arsenal when attacked by the enemy with fear!

In the panic of anxiety, remember who you are, and whose you are. Your Father in Heaven is faithful; Jesus will never leave your side, and the Holy Spirit is your Helper (Deuteronomy 7:9; Matthew 28:20; John 14:26). Things get scary, and terrifying even, I know. But Christ has gotten you this far, hasn’t He? May God comfort and still our racing hearts as He reminds us that 1) He is with us, and 2) He will help us, just as He always has.

help


Do you know Jesus?

…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
(Matthew 28:20, ESV)

These were some of Jesus’ last words before He ascended up to heaven. He promised this one very profound thing, because He knew it is what people need most: First, His Salvation, and two, the knowledge of His near Presence.

Where are you at today with Jesus? Is He a myth to you? Are you confused about why He came and died in the first place? Learn more about Jesus here.


Please pray for…

  • The Chibok girls, and Leah Sharibu. Reports have said that Leah is being held as a slave. Pray she returns home soon!!!
  • For all those struggling with anxiety, depression, and mental illness. There are many more people in this category than we could know.

 Thank you for your prayers.

 

 

A Letter for the Students of UNIMAID

After watching this video about those attending the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), my heart swelled with pride for those who are going to school despite (and almost in defiance of) Boko Haram’s threats.

I am also very proud of President Buhari’s promises to stop violence from herdsmen and bandits. There is a lot that needs to change in Nigeria, as seen by Falz’ brilliant video, “This Is Nigeria” (a cover of “This is America” by Childish Gambino). But I am glad to see that progress is being made, despite kick-back from those who want to stop Nigeria’s progression toward true freedom and healing as a nation. I was so happy to hear of this progress that I wanted to write this letter to those fighting opposition, especially to the students of the University of Maiduguri, to encourage them to continue doing what they’re doing—and to point them to Jesus Christ.


­­­­­­­­­­­To the Students of The University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID):

Although I do not know you—and probably never will—I just wanted to say that I am proud of you.

You may not see why. Going to your university may seem to have nothing special about it, just as I go to my university. For many of you, it is a simple, normal, day-to-day thing.

But you also see and understand that, for you to go to your university, there is a much higher risk of attack from Boko Haram— a type of violence that I do not have to deal with on a daily basis.

Each day, you chose to go to a place where there is some risk of you being hurt. While some would say that this is unwise, I point to the extensive amount of security that UNIMAID has implemented to make you attending school something that is not stupid.

Yet, though there is implemented security, there is always risk. I commend you for each step you take toward that school, knowing that there are many people who absolutely oppose you getting the education that you are getting, and making the progress that you are making.

You coming to UNIMAID every day is akin to looking Boko Haram in the eye and saying, “You do not scare me. I will not let you control and ruin my life.”

And that takes major, major courage, my friends.

But sometimes bad things happen. We lose courage. Sometimes we are afraid, and we are not the people, gallantly opposing evil, that we should be.

This is reality—true, hard fact. My friends, if you find yourself in this place—of being faithless and afraid—I encourage you to do one thing, cliché as it sounds:
Look toward Jesus.

Our Help.
Our Friend.
The Author and Finisher of our Faith.
Our Savior, the One who makes us right with Himself.

The One who died on a cross to pay for our many lapses of faith, our disobedience, our transgressions. It is His perfection that God sees when He looks at those who place their trust in Jesus Christ.

jesus

And it is His faithfulness that will get us through the darkest nights of our lives, when it feels as though the enemy lurks in the shadows.

We fail, but Jesus does not. Let’s rejoice and rest in that.

He, and He alone, is worthy of our highest praise.

As you continue in life, my prayer for you is that Jesus would be your Lord, your Savior—and that He would make you brave, as you face opposition toward progress and healing in any form.

May your courage and worth be found in Him!

Your Fellow Human Being,

Annalee Hoover, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY


Do you know Jesus?

Jesus obeyed perfectly, so that we wouldn’t have to.
Learn more about Jesus, what He did, and how it changes everything forever, here.


Please pray for (you can find the prayer sheet for this blog, here)…

  • The corruption seen in Nigeria. Falz’s cover “This Is Nigeria” is poignant—pray that it shows people the sin of Nigeria, and how only Jesus can fix it.
  • The Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu. Pray that they would be freed, soon. You can find their names and pictures, here.
  • The Nigerian military, law enforcement, and Joint Civilian Task Force. Pray that they would seek Christ, and that they would have favor as they fight Boko Haram, herdsmen, and the like.

Thank you for your prayers and support!!!