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Jesus Doesn’t Dismiss Our Fears, He Experienced Them And Overcame Them (via Winn Collier)

Jesus doesn’t dismiss our fears.
He spends much time telling his disciples that we’ll experience much that drives to the hearts of our anxieties.
And he goes to the very heart of fear itself, experiences it all, and emerges victorious, for us.

From Winn Collier.

“Incarnation is the place,” says Kathleen Norris, “where hope contends with fear.” Perhaps this hints at the reason, if Jesus was familiar with fear, he was not distraught in the boat that was battered by the ferocious storm. He was not afraid because he was aware of God the Father with him. Perhaps this also tells us why the cross evoked such a different, disquieted response from Jesus. There, as the sky turned black and as Jesus cried out as only a forsaken man could, God was nowhere to be found. That is a place of terror.
Christ has known ultimate fear. He has known fear in ways we never will. It is not that Jesus is unable to understand the range of our fears; it is that we are unable to understand the depth of his. We must resist any easy notion that Jesus never knew fear. This does injustice to his humanity, and it offers little hope when fear engulfs us. How can we say God is truly “with us” if he has not been at times immersed, like us, in the torrent of fear?
This God-incarnated, this blood—and—bone God—in-Jesus, came to “contend with fear.” He did not come only to face nobly fear’s blunt force … and die. Jesus’ face—off with fear did not conclude on a darkened Friday when hope was lost and hell quivered with pleasure. After cross came resur— rection, and in the mysterious hours between the two, Jesus took death and sin—all that makes up the foul side of fear—and placed them squarely under his crushing heel. Fear unleashed all it possessed on Jesus, a torrent of death and shame and abandonment and sin, enough to finish even the strongest of men. But fear did not destroy Jesus; Jesus destroyed fear.
Our comfort and courage do not come from a Jesus who was unmolested by fear; our Comfort comes from a Jesus who went into fear’s very bowels … for us. He drank in every acidic ounce of fright and distress and vexation. For us, he drank it in. And now, as he stands leaning toward us, Immanuel asks, “Why are you afraid?”.

Winn Collier, Holy Curiosity, Baker Books, 2008, pg 53-54.


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Ten Types Of Thinking That Undergird Depression (via ERLC)

This is an article by Brad Hambrick, published by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
These ten types of thinking are described as fuelling the depressive-anxious experience.
From personal experience they certainly resonate.
It would be helpful to understand that this is not a matter of identifying these in others and tell them to stop it.
Rather it is a self-diagnostic tool to help individuals recognise that which is unhelpful and unproductive in recovery and self-management.
It is also helpful for those who support sufferers about what sort of thought patterns not to encourage.

The list.
There are expanded explanations and ‘pay attention’ descriptions to help diagnose practical explanations of the thinking at work in the article itself:

1. Idealistic: Ideals are good goals without a sense of time.
2. Impossibly high goals: Impossible goals are either super-human or lack achievable pieces.
3. Personalization: Everything is not “about you.”
4. Emotional reasoning: When we believe our emotions are true in spite of facts to the contrary, this is emotional reasoning.
5. Catastrophisizing: This style of worst-case scenario thinking (i.e., “I’m going to die, fail out of school, be single forever, etc.) is very frequent at the onset of a panic attack.
6. Dichotomous thinking: “It is either great or terrible. It is clearly not great, so it must be terrible.”
7. Selective attention: We constantly filter our attention.
8. Superstitious thinking: In children or sports fans, superstitious thinking can be cute or entertaining.
9. Passivity: “If I can’t [blank], then I won’t do anything.” This is a pattern of thought that often causes people to cycle between depression and anxiety.
10. Equating worth with performance: This mindset requires “salvation by works alone” for you while allowing “salvation by grace” for everyone else.

Read the whole article here.


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On Anxiety (via The Upward Call)

Kim Shay writes about anxiety.
It’s a helpful perspective.
Here’s an excerpt:

Anxiety has taught me a lot about compassion. It has taught me that mental illness is not as black and white as we think. And it taught me that the church has a long way to go toward understanding it and helping its sufferers through it. There is a lot of misunderstanding about it. When a woman struggles with impatience, pride, or selfishness, we want to help. We know it takes time. But when it’s anxiety, it’s as if we think handing out a verse and reminding her that anxiety is a sin will be an automatic cure. It isn’t. I feel great right now, and when I ran into my family doctor recently he asked me if I felt as good as I looked. But another thing I learned was the fleeting nature of feeling good. As I said, anxiety is the unwelcome invader, and invaders don’t tell you ahead of time that they’re coming.

Read the whole post at The Upward Call.