Fear, Frustration and Fighting Porn
Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | Written by Dave Jenkins
Many people struggle with an addiction to porn. When I was addicted to pornography, one of my trigger points that led to temptation was frustration. Whether directed toward a family member, friend, or a circumstance, I often handled frustration the wrong way. Perhaps frustration is one of your trigger points too- leading you to anger or tempting you to look at porn.
Frustrations, worries and anxieties often come because of material needs or a lack of focus on spiritual priorities. Jesus chastised His listeners who worried about food and clothing. He says, “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:30). Yet many of us allow ourselves to worry. We become fearful and anxious.
What do Americans fear most? A 2001 Gallup Poll surveyed U.S. adults about their fears. The number one fear was snakes, affecting 51%; the second-most prominent fear was public speaking, affecting 40%. These were followed by heights at 36%; enclosure in a small space—34%; spiders and insects—27%; needles and shots—21%; mice—20%; flying—18%; thunder and lightning—11%; dogs—11 %; crowds—11%; going to the doctor—9%; the dark—5%.
God knows our fears. Jesus said your Father knows you intimately. Jesus gives us this encouraging perspective, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).
As you read and study God’s Word, you will learn of His awesome love and His amazing promises to you. You will find documentation of God’s intervention in people’s lives. He promises that He will intervene in your life!
Today, many modern distractions keep us from spiritual priorities. We live in a materialistically minded world. Many seek wealth as their first goal in life, whether possessions of real estate, cars, boats, jewelry, cash or designer clothing. Others seek power of position in government, business or education. Others seek pleasure through illicit sex, overindulgence in media and video games, other forms of entertainment, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Human nature causes us to turn to activities that deepen our fears and our frustrations. How can we replace those fears and frustrations with peace, faith, and love?
A Godly FearIf we have reverence for God, we can keep our daily problems in perspective. Many in mainstream churches call the fear of God “primitive.” But the biblical fear of God is not “being afraid” of Him--the fear of God is a deep reverence and respect for our Creator. It is an awe of God’s majesty and greatness. It is a response to the reality of who God is.
When you choose to fear God, you will not fear human beings. We must understand that the fear of God and the love of God are notmutually exclusive. Many professing Christians think that you have one or the other. That is not what your Bible says. Both qualities are required in our relationship with God. Deuteronomy 10:12–13 says, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which command you today for your good?”
A godly fear helps us overcome phobias and worries. Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” True faith and confidence—strong confidence—come from God.
The New Testament also praises the value of a godly fear. Notice: “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).
Yes, God requires that we both love Him andfear Him. Both qualities go hand in hand! Reading through the books of Psalms and Proverbs will help you understand the blessings and benefits of a godly fear.
How else can we overcome our worries and anxieties? Jesus’ beloved apostle, John, wrote: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18). Love is the antidote to fear. How can we have that love?We must realize the profound truth John mentions: God is love. “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).
He gives us this amazing promise: “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
Are You Frustrated?The word “frustrate” means “to prevent from attaining a purpose; to thwart.” The word comes from the French frustra which means “in vain.” The fruits of frustration can include mental anxiety, worry, turmoil, apprehension, nervousness, and restlessness. How can you overcome your frustrations?
We all experience frustration. We sit in traffic jams when we are late for an appointment. We feel burdened with long hours on the job. We may feel rejected when asking someone for a date. We may feel insecure or unloved. We may have conflicts with friends or family. We may have health problems. We may lack patience. Things just go badly for us at our workplace or school. Why do we experience so many frustrations?
Perhaps your focus is on the material rather than the spiritual. What goals are you setting? When you set the wrong goal, you can be thwarted and frustrated. The simple solution is to set the right goal. If you have not already internalized these words of Jesus, you should: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). We become frustrated when we have the wrong goal, or no goal at all. God has made us for an awesome purpose. When we commit to His goal and seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, we minimize life’s frustrations!
We also become frustrated when we insist that our own will be done, without consideration for others. The selfish attitude is, “I want it my way.” Our Savior gave us the right example. Even when He faced crucifixion, He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus surrendered to God’s will. When we surrender to God’s will instead of insisting on our own, we find peace and overcome our frustrations. Remember, Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Having the right motivation gives us the the patience needed to overcome frustration. We all need the godly attitude of giving as opposed to getting. Scripture tells us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
The Role of FaithThe Bible emphasizes our need for faith. Perhaps you are lacking faith and confidence. Can you have faith in this faithless age? Yes, you can. How? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ,” (Rom. 10:17).
Is it any wonder that many of us lack faith? If our priorities are materialistic, we will not have faith. Jesus made it plain what our top priority in life should be. He addressed the common problem many have of worrying about their physical needs.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:25-34).
Jesus encourages us to have faith and not to worry about our physical needs. He instructs us to focus on the spiritual. If we do, then all our physical needs will be added to us.
Abraham was a man who believed God’s promises and obeyed Him in faith. Describing Abraham, Paul wrote, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness'” (Rom. 4:20–22). You need to decide whether you will step out in faith and obey God as Abraham did. Will you believe your Bible? Will you believe the wonderful promises God has for you?
Ask yourself, “When I read God’s promises in the Bible, do I believe God is able to perform what He has promised?” If you do, you are well on your way to living by faith. Read your Bible, and claim God’s promises. He wants you to have a close relationship with Him.
God promises to provide our every need. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Jesus also says,”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7–8). These are His promises to you. Once you know God’s promises, you can talk it over with God in prayer and claim them.
Take God at His Word. Pray to Him according to His will. Ask, seek, and knock. Answered prayers will increase your faith and help you overcome your worries, frustrations, and anxieties.
The godly qualities of patience, faith, obedience and surrender to God’s will (and His divine love) will help us overcome our frustrations, fears, and anxieties. God wants us to live by faith.
As we draw closer to God, we will gain a godly fear that will help us face our frustrations and experience the benefits of faith. God gives us amazing promises in His Word. We need to appropriate these promises into our daily lives, for they show us the perfect love of God that casts out fear and frustration.