BE STRONG IN FAITH

Friday – October 29, 2021

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"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." - Ephesians 6:10

In the October 27, 2017 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine, an article entitled “What Happens in the Brain When We Feel Fear” described the chemical reactions in our brains when we are fearful:

“Fear reaction starts in the brain and spreads through the body to make adjustments for the best defense, or flight reaction. The fear response starts in a region of the brain called the amygdala. This almond-shaped set of nuclei in the temporal lobe of the brain is dedicated to detecting the emotional salience of the stimuli – how much something stands out to us.

It also triggers release of stress hormones and sympathetic nervous system.

This leads to bodily changes that prepare us to be more efficient in a danger: The brain becomes hyperalert, pupils dilate, the bronchi dilate and breathing accelerates. Heart rate and blood pressure rise. Blood flow and stream of glucose to the skeletal muscles increase. Organs not vital in survival such as the gastrointestinal system slow down.

A part of the brain called the hippocampus is closely connected with the amygdala. The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex help the brain interpret the perceived threat. They are involved in a higher-level processing of context, which helps a person know whether a perceived threat is real.

For instance, seeing a lion in the wild can trigger a strong fear reaction, but the response to a view of the same lion at a zoo is more of curiosity and thinking that the lion is cute. This is because the hippocampus and the frontal cortex process contextual information, and inhibitory pathways dampen the amygdala fear response and its downstream results. Basically, our “thinking” circuitry of brain reassures our “emotional” areas that we are, in fact, OK.”

That tempering is what our faith in God is supposed to do, operate as an instinctive grid through which we view fearful events or circumstances, reining in our responses with the knowledge that he is in control.

In all that we do, we need to be strong  in the Lord. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love toward you, give your fears to Him, and look to Jesus to strengthen your faith.

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself." - C.S. Lewis

God's Word: "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." - 1 Corinthians 16:13