Fear is one of the most negative, debilitating emotions that affects so many areas of our life. Whether you’re faced with a specific circumstance, like a health concern, or battling ongoing fears over the future, fear can cripple our lives, making us less joyful, less free versions of ourselves. But the truth is, if you’re a believer, we really aren’t supposed to live with fear, or give into it. Seems unrealistic though, especially in this Covid-crazed cancel culture cowering under every hyperbolic news headline. But if we’re in the Word and in communion with God daily, every person can live without fear. Here are five of the greatest truths about combating fear.
1 John 4:18: “Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear”
This is a commonly heard verse often converted into wall décor, but what does this scripture really mean? How in the world does love “cast out” fear? We know that God is pure, unconditional, never faltering love. When we are in communion with him which simply means listening and following His voice with a mindset of worship, fear is unable to dwell in our spirits at the same time. It’s a similar concept to sin not being able to exist in the presence of God, or a spark of light that expels all darkness. When dealing with truly frightening circumstance, like an acute experience with danger, this obviously takes more intense and even continuous prayer and communion with the Lord, but even in those circumstances, it’s possible to stand confident and unafraid in the face of evil.
We’ve heard hundreds of testimonies, going back to Stephen being stoned in the temple, with complete and utter peace on his face, not even appearing to be in pain ( I believe God supernaturally blocks pain in some circumstances). Apply this to something less intense…something as simple as fearing a hard talk with our spouse or daily encounters with an evil boss. When we’re filled with the all-consuming, sometimes overwhelming, joyful love of God, the fearful situations can almost seem like child’s play. The circumstance should be seen as a pathetic dart thrown by the enemy. Love simply conquers fear.
Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
I love this verse. Though I usually deny the context of the Proverbs 31 woman because I generally don’t relate to her people pleasing ways (haha). Laughter, in my opinion, is the most underestimated weapon against fear, anxiety and depression. It transports us into God’s resting state, which is joy. The next time you find yourself laughing, take note of how impossible it would be to feel sadness or fear in those few seconds. I’m not suggesting we minimize or “escape” fear by distracting ourselves with humor or pretending they don’t exist, but when we are truly in sync with the Father, we can laugh at, and laugh through our problems. I have literally erupted into bouts of laughter with friends, talking about fears I’m facing …. giving a public talk, facing a breakup, getting ready for that first childbirth…because laughter sets our spirts free….truly.
Laughter shifts the spiritual atmosphere, signaling to the enemy that we are not cowering, nor intimidated by whatever’s being brought against us. I will not allow anxiety to squelch my sense of humor, nor my ability to feel joy, in any circumstance. Even when running out of gas on the side of the road…for the second time….in winter. We need to learn to truly embrace our moments instead of worrying about things we can’t control. We need more joy in our lives, and it’s only gained by spending time with Him.
Romans 8:31: “For God is for us, who can be against us?”
Ohhhh this is a good one, right? I just picture Jesus on the battlefield, all majestic and fierce, with me cowering in my boot heels yelling to the enemy, “look who I brought, suckers!” When facing bouts of fear against anyone, or any thing, take a few moments to “recalibrate.” Remind yourself who you are, and whose you are. We are His daughters.
The Enemy may have temporary reign on the Earth, but the Lord has already won the victory. There is no spirit of depression, or sickness, or addiction, etc. that is greater than Him. We don’t have to face any giant, or face any fear alone.
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
This is one of the most calming promises in Scripture. We sometimes forget how precious and valued we are to the Lord, don’t we? I honestly believe if we were able to understand our value in the Lord’s eyes, we would live with so much more power. God will never allow fearful circumstances to overcome us. He just won’t. Yet we will face trials, suffer through fires and feel like we’re drowning in deep waters during some seasons in our lives.
The key is realizing he’s right there with us. He’s always there, rooting for us, quietly whispering comforts and words of wisdom and assurance in our ears. When we lock our eyes on Jesus, taking our focus away from our fears, our hearts are calmed and our spirits find confidence, that we will be okay. That piece of bad news, fears over our kids, threats of divorce, etc. are not beyond his scope of miraculous power.
2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The Holy Spirit has the power to comfort us, in any circumstance, if we let him. We are not created to ever cower or feel less than whatever we’re feeling anxiety about, but if we don’t tap into his power, we’re not going experience His amazing strength. When was the last time we stopped to reflect upon the fact that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is within us? I think sometimes our current state of sin, level of church attendance, or current feeling of “spiritualness” somehow reduces or limits the Holy Spirit’s nearness. The enemy uses this lie to keep us riddled with anxiety, and useless in the kingdom.
God doesn’t ration himself out based on our performance or level or devotion to him. We have SO much power in him that I believe we just don’t exercise…kind of like a circus elephant afraid of a mouse. The key is becoming so intimate with him, it’s not just a concept anymore. We rely and trust the Holy Spirt to shoulder our burdens and fears, for real. When waves of anxiety rush over us, or we feel the need to run to our car at work and bawl in the parking lot, we need to speak to those thoughts, casting down all oppression, lies and attacks against our spirits.
We’ll always be faced with fear, this side of heaven. But we can always overcome, with the Lord on our side. Amen! xo
For more on fighting fear, read my article, the “Top 5 Promises That Banish Fear.”
For more encouragement on this topic check out this amazing sermon by Joyce Meyer about how to deal with fear.