A young Christian woman I met confided that she had recently lost a baby at 28 weeks and that was after 2 previous miscarriages.  She asked that I pray for God’s help in dealing with her persistent fear that she might lose other precious members of her family:  her 3 yr old daughter or her husband.  My heart lurched when I read her email.  What pain! Imagining what she might be going through made my heart sink.  I could well understand her fear, her drawing back and throwing herself in front of her husband and daughter as a brave ‘warrioress’, shouting:  “No further, Angel of Death!”

John Piper gave a talk at a recent Passion weekend to college students about why we should memorize scripture.  He reminded the audience that the Sword of the Spirit, i.e. God’s Word, is the ONLY offensive weapon we have.  He said that when we talk, announce, declare, shout out God’s promises which are ‘alive and full of power’ (Hebr 4:12) we wage active war against our sin.  And the first sin he mentioned was FEAR.

Fear and its cousin, anxiety, are ever-present enemies.  They are sins because they replace our trust in God.  John Piper who has battled depression and fear throughout his life has a useful acronym.  I shared it with the grieving mom and thought it would help all of us.  It is:  A-P-T-A-T

A – admit you have a need and are helpless, whether it is worry, lack of wisdom, money problems, ANYTHING that you can articulate. Spell out the problem.

P – pray and ask for help from God (remember that we have not because we ask notJames 4:20)

T – trust God that He will provide.  Pick a particular promise and make that your friend.  I googled ‘verses to fight fear’ and found a whole list. Here’s a good one from Deuteronomy 31:6   Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them (i.e. fearful, anxious thoughts); for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”   When the fear thought pops in to your mind, you can say, “No!! I will not fear.  I WILL be strong and courageous for God is my Lord; He is THE ONE who goes with me.  He will not leave me or forsake me….and…(you can add other truths like – He is Jehovah Sabaoth – Lord of the angel armies)

A – act and do what you have to do, counting on the Holy Spirit to be with you and provide what He has promised.  We have to move out despite the fear.

T – thank God for what He IS doing and has done to slay that sin.

And I would add an RAPTAT and Re-APTAT…as in, when we succumb to the sin of fear, anxiety, lust, idolatry, self-centeredness (and the list goes on…) that we REPENT and start again.  Even if we have to use this tool multiple times a day, it doesn’t matter.  There is ‘NO (SHAME or) CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  It’s pure pride to give up and say, “That’s just the way I am, I am a worrier, I am a fearful person, I cannot overcome this sin of ______!”

Let’s put on our boxing gloves, and fight the good fight of faith, using the ONE weapon God has given us, His Holy Word.

If you want to hear the talk by John Piper on God’s word as a weapon and the power of memorizing scripture, here’s the link:

John Piper’s talk