Learn to overcome fear with faith
It's normal to experience fear in life, but you shouldn't allow it to control you. The Bible says "perfect love casts out all fear" so why not overcome fear with faith in God?
If you have a hard time trusting Him because of past things that have happened in your life, we can help! This article contains resources for new Christians or people who have not placed their faith in Christianity yet.
Author/Pastor at Saddleback Church
Fear is a self imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.
Worry or fear?
There is a distinct difference between worry and fear. Worry is defined as giving way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
Fear on the other hand is a fixation on anxiety. In fact, it is defined as regarding with reverence and awe. It is the worship of apprehension.
Jesus provided faith to overcome fear
Jesus' own words prove that this definition of fear is the right one. In Matthew, Jesus said this about fear:
In this context, Jesus is saying to fear God, and not men. We know from another encounter he is not saying not to respect men where he says to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. But, he follows this up by saying to render to God what is God's, which is our reverence, awe, and worship.
How to overcome fear with faith
It is said that the Bible uses the phrase "fear not" 365 times. I honestly have not counted them myself, but it does seem like something God would plan out to have it said once for every day in a year.
While Jesus pointed out the fear in the disciples and those who followed his ministry, more direct verses about how to overcome fear come after his ascension.
The same advice also predated Jesus' earthly walk. The prophet Isaiah also foretold of fear being overcome by faith:
Paul also points to faith in God as the key to overcoming fear. Paul may not have ever met Jesus during his ministry on Earth, but Paul's supernatural encounter with him left a lasting impression!
It was this encounter that led Paul to pursue a relationship with God, and this inspiration resulted in 2/3 of the New Testament in the form of letters from Paul to various churches and people.
In Paul's letter to Timothy in particular, he gives some insight on overcoming fear with faith:
The spirit God has given us, the Holy Spirit, is not one of fearfulness, but power, love, and sound judgement.
So how do we receive this spirit? I mean Christians display fear all the time. How do we inherit this spirit of power and love?
Building faith that overcomes fear
Daily Bible Reading
The first step to building this faith is daily Bible reading. Nothing can encourage you like the inspired Word of God. Every book in the Bible is infused with the Spirit of God himself.
When you commit to reading the Bible every day, scripture starts to come alive. That is to say you start to see the world for what it really is because you begin to apply scripture to things you observe around you.
Beyond that, when you couple this first step with the second, the Holy Spirit begins to open your eyes to the truth, and you begin to see situations as they really are. The veil of sin is lifted from your eyes.
Praying to God
If reading the Bible tells you about God, and reveals the truth to you, praying to Him deepens your relationship.
Praying to God can help you overcome fear by submitting that fear to Him. Even Jesus had to deal with fear, and he coped with it by giving that fear to the Father.
God doesn't want you to live with fear, and he knows how to eliminate it altogether. The faith you display by giving it to Him will eradicate that fear from your life!
Journaling Your Prayers
When you take this third step of journaling your prayers, you will see that when you ask God for things, he does answer.
Now, God doesn't always answer prayer with a yes. Much like when you asked your parents for something as a child, they had times when they told you 'no'.
That response was probably made out of love instead of a desire to withhold your desire from you. In the same way, God loves you enough to not give you what you want when it is not the best thing for you.
On the other hand, when God does bless you with a 'yes', your journal can help chart your personal growth on the journey from your request to His response. Every answered prayer will build your faith and help you overcome fear.
Getting Involved in Church or Giving
Once you develop a habit of reading your Bible and praying every day, the last step is getting out of your comfort zone.
Becoming a Christian was never about playing it safe with life. Jesus didn't call us to live a life looking out for ourselves.
Instead, we are called to give as Jesus gave for us. We are called to be members of the church, which is referred to as the bride of Christ. We are married to Him and should obey His command to love others and sacrifice for them.
The benefit for you is that the more involved you are in other people's lives, the less you tend to notice your own problems. Helping out at your church or local charity helps you to understand that everyone has issues, and often you are not in as bad a shape as you think you are!
Fear is the feeling of anxiety that something bad will happen. It can be paralyzing, causing us to stay in our comfort zones and avoid challenging situations where we might fail or get hurt.
Jesus provided faith to overcome fear when he faced his own death on the cross for sinners like you and me. We are called by God to follow Christ’s example of overcoming fear with faith!
Building your faith so it overcomes fear takes four steps: daily Bible reading, praying daily (to talk out loud about what scares you), journaling prayers as they come up throughout the day, and getting involved in church or giving to others.
How could you give your fears to God in faith? Let me know in the comments below!