When I think about the root cause of so many mistakes and spiritual pitfalls in my life, the source seems to be the one and only, the ugly, fear. Fear will cause us to buckle and settle for less than God’s best. Fearing failure, health woes, financial stress-even fear of good things like relationships because we’re afraid of rejection. It’ll cause us to disobey after diluting our trust in Him, and even when do stay strong, it’ll rob us of our peace and joy. And scarily, many times fear is rooted in our lack of knowledge and power we’re guaranteed in God’s word. The phrase “fear not” is used at least 80 times in the Bible, most likely because God knows how easily fear can creep into our hearts, and keep us from trusting Him. Here are some of the best scriptures helping us overcome fear by increasing our faith.
“He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
When you’re fearing a situation or emotional challenge, really envision God saying this, just to you. He’s on your side. No matter who leaves after promising forever. When friends, family members or co-workers disappoint you, he’ll never turn on you. Some of my lowest, most painful moments in life have also been my closest times with the Lord. I’ll never forget crying in fetal position on my kitchen floor after a brutal break up, and feeling the presence of God’s comfort and love like never before. It was so powerful I found myself laughing through the tears, as Duet. 31 burned in my heart: I am here. You will be okay. I’m all you need, and you’re never going to be alone. That was ten years ago, and he’s never let me down.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
So much fear is based on the wrong assumption than when we’ve made a mess of a situation, it’s too late for God’s help. I’m living proof that God specializes in fixing mistakes. Picture the Prodigal Son meets David during his rebellious years. Honestly, when I get to heaven I imagine God’s sweet embrace followed by, “so that vain phase in ’09….had us worried there.” God has not only forgiven me after some blatantly unwise, selfish choices, but he’s been quick to open doors, answer prayers and pour out more blessings than I could ever deserve. He’s so good. Combat fear by believing he’ll turn your situation around for good, simply because he has a wonderful purpose for your life, no amount of blunders can hinder.
“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”
God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible continually warns us and equips us against fear, most likely because He knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories. I’ve been a Christian for 15 years now, and I’m still in awe that God, who created the universe, cares about every detail of our lives. We belong to an all-powerful, all-knowing, victorious father who cares deeply about us. When we really meditate on this truth, it’s hard to remain fearful about the trials we face. By focusing on Him, and how He considers us his prized, redeemed ones, our focus naturally shifts from fear to faith. Jesus himself expressed fear to the point of sweating blood, so God understands fear is natural. But whatever you’re fearing- a health crisis, family problem, financial struggle- focus on the power of a God who calls you by name, and commands fear to flee from you heart.
1 John 4:18
“Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear”
My youngest recently asked, “how could love fight fear, mom?” I was kinda stumped. I think this verse can be rather vague and difficult to grasp, even for adults. But when really meditating on this scripture, and how God’s love has made me less fearful through life, I believe it’s simpler than we realize. God is love. Perfect love. And the closer we come to him, the less power fear has over us, because we feel God’s continual presence-his strength, his comfort, and his guidance. This concept reminds me of being little, and experiencing “scary” situations, like hearing a strange noise in the middle of the night. I remember yelling for my dad, feeling terrified, but I had total belief that whatever was happening, my dad would protect us. Or when I got lost on the beach for what seemed like hours but was probably ten minutes, I just knew my dad would move heaven and Earth to find me. When faced with even the deepest most crippling of fear, we need to trust God with the confidence a child ascribes to a loving parent. The key is abiding in that love, on a daily-even hourly-basis. It has to be more than a Biblical truth in our lives. We need to experience it continually.
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.”
Choosing a favorite psalm is like deciding on just one ice cream flavor, but this one sings the story of my life. Speak these words over the cause of your fear. God is our hiding place. For David, this meant sitting in a cave praying trained warriors bypassed his route. Fur us, it’s more like sitting in our car on lunch break with worship music blasting, refusing fear, and praising instead. It absolutely works. We weren’t saved and redeemed only to limp through life riddled with fear and anxiety. God can only be our rock if we let him. Trust him to deliver you from every fear coming against the truth not only in his ability, but his desire to deliver you. Yup, still my favorite Psalm. Amen!