Fear. I have always been the type of person who has struggled with fear and anxiety. It could vary from work related things, to relationships, to finances, to family. Something that I thought about the other day is how just within the past 6-7 months, I haven’t been as fearful and I have had an easier time trusting the Lord. When I looked back on how afraid I was of practically everything, I noticed that it began to trickle into my spiritual walk with the Lord as well. Or vice versa — my spiritual doubt and worries began to become evident in my every day, causing my fears and worries to overcome my everyday life. So I wanted to talk about fear and how I am going through the process of overcoming my fears and trusting in Christ.
I used to be afraid of things and literally refuse to be around anything that related to the things I was scared of. For example, I was, and am to some degree, terrified of heights. I wouldn’t go around hot air balloons, I wouldn’t travel because I hated how high the airplane got, I had a hard time hiking because of the height of the mountains. I would just avoid things that involved anything I was afraid of. I realize now that I was not doing things to honor or trust the Lord, but rather, I was lingering in my fear instead of giving it to the Lord and just facing it. Now that is not to say that I have absolutely no fears whatsoever; I definitely am still afraid of the dark (as silly as that sounds) and I am not fond of dolls either. But I can honestly say that after many months of praying and spending time in the Word, I have realized that there is truly nothing to fear. Back in August, I traveled back East to visit family, and rather than being terrified to the point of exhaustion, I was able to enjoy the plane ride and the beauty I saw right outside my window.
It is natural for human beings to have fears and worries, that is part of how we are made, and God understands that part of us, which is why there is are abounding verses throughout Scripture that pertain to fear. For people, some more than others, it takes time to train ourselves to trust the Lord rather than worrying or being afraid. I dont know about you, but I tend to be an over-thinker. This is one of my big downfalls; rather than praying about a situation and leaving it in God’s hands, I’d worry, I’d stress, I’d think over and over about all the different things that could take place and how I am going to react in worst-case-scenarios. I am the one who would worry about all the “what-ifs” in life and I noticed it caused a lot of unnecessary weight in my life that I walked around with every day. Although I do believe it is smart to plan ahead, worrying is not the right way to do things.
Fear is one of the most popular tactics the enemy uses against us, and throughout the majority of my life so far, I was allowing him to have a stronghold over not just the things going on in my life, but also in my walk with the Lord. I was allowing a rift to form within my trust in Christ, which began taking a tole on me in many aspects of life. There are so many things that we could potentially be afraid of, the list is quite extensive, and the enemy loves to feed off of that list, magnifying all the things we could be scared of. Something that I realized has been helping me lately is to read the truth God has provided in the bible and read them so often, that I consciously replace my worry with the beautiful truth of the Scripture. Here are some of the verse the Lord used to bring the truth about trusting the Lord to my attention.
- Deuteronomy 3:22 ~ “ Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
- Isaiah 41:10 ~ “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- Psalms 56:3 ~ “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
- John 14:27 ~ “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7 ~ “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
- Psalms 94:18-19 ~ “When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
- Isaiah 43:1 ~ “But now, this is what the Lord says he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.'”
- Proverbs 12:25 ~ “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
- Joshua 1:9 ~ “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- Psalms 27:1 ~ “The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?”
- Deuteronomy 31:6 ~ “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Psalms 118:6-7 ~ “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.”
- Psalms 34:4 ~ “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Now, I know that this is a pretty long list of verses, but this is only a small hand-full compared to how often the Lord speaks about the topic of fear throughout the Bible. We have the assurance that God is right there, strengthening us, supporting us, helping through all our struggles and transgressions. Something for me that is hard to do is to walk in this truth, rather than just know. It is easy to know what the truth is, it is more difficult to act upon the faith we claim. Believe me, I am still working on this, and will continue to work on it for the rest of my life, but something that brings me so much joy is knowing that we know and serve such an intimately loving and protecting God. Even when we are afraid, He never once lets us out of His sight or care.
God is stronger and through Him, we have been given the spirit that allows us to be bold, fearless, courageous! When you have things running trough your mind that cause you to panic, to worry, to become fearful, give it all to Him. Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Rather than allowing my anxiety or fear overcome me, Christ calls me to turn to Him in prayer and submit the things I am afraid of.
All of your fears, your worries? Give it the Lord, over and over again. Time after time and moment by moment. I can’t say that this transition has happened for me over night; it has taken weeks, months, years for me to come to the place God has brought me to now, and I still have so much learning and growing to do. Although it is not every day, but I am able to sleep peacefully knowing that He knows the concerns of my heart, and He is fighting for me every day. Rest in the peaceful assurance that the worries you have been burdening yourself with are in God’s hands. He is in control. We can take comfort in the words of the Lord and that with Him, all things are possible. Don’t allow the enemy to plant seeds of doubt, but rather, allow the Holy Spirit to blossom a faith in Christ within you that is stronger than anything else we could worry about or fear. Pray and allow the Lord to take control over the weight of fear and anxiety. I am praying for each of you, as we battle through this as brothers and sisters in Christ! I hope this brought you some encouragement and comfort today! God bless!