We all know what it’s like to be afraid, to have fear, be concerned about something, or to worry. It may be fears about our future or our kid’s futures. Concerns about our job or what is happening in our society. Many of us have worries about finances or health issues. We’re afraid of not making the right decision, or to step out in faith to try something new for fear of failure.
For a believer, fear shows us the areas of our lives where our faith waivers and we do not fully trust God. We do not trust that He is sovereign, that He will provide for our needs, or that He truly loves us enough to guide us and protect us through the struggles of life. We may lift our concerns up in prayer, but oftentimes we quickly take them back in the form of worry or trying to take control of the situation ourselves.
For many years now my husband and I have had our own business. And for any of you that are self-employed, you know that the income can be quite inconsistent. As the one who takes care of the finances for our business and personal accounts, I had always rested in the fact that God has provided. We always had a place to live, we had never missed a meal and when work slowed down, He even provided a job for me outside of our business, to help make ends meet.
That was until we got to the point that we were so far behind, there was the possibility of losing our house.
This time, the struggle was long and hard and I was tired. I sat in prayer one day and poured out my heart to the Lord. I had prayed many times over our finances, but this time was different. I got down to the heart of the matter and said; Lord, I just want to be like everyone else and have a regular paycheck that is enough to cover our expenses. I want to be able to know that the funds are going to be there and I’m going to be able to pay my bills and not have to worry about it anymore.
As I sat there, with tears streaming down my face, I heard this still small voice say. So you don’t want to depend on Me? It was very clear at that point where my fear truly lay. I had lost my faith in trusting that my Heavenly Father could and would provide for all my needs, even when I couldn’t see where the funds to do so would come from.
The Effects of Fear
Fear is debilitating. In the last couple of years, our society has been gripped by fear of the unknown. We didn't know what this pandemic would really be like. How it would affect us personally and would it ever end.
Even before all this, fear of the future keeps us from moving forward, making plans, or making any changes in our life. It may be changing jobs, moving to a new city, or trusting in other people again.
Robs us of our joy. The time and energy that we spend worrying about the things in our life, that we most likely can’t change or do anything about anyway, robs us of enjoying the things that God has already blessed us with. The joy of being with family, serving in a ministry, helping a friend, or providing a need for someone else.
Keeps us from living an abundant life. Fear keeps us from being and doing all the amazing things God has for us. From joining a bible study, becoming part of a ministry, witnessing to someone, and living the life God intended for us to live.
We should also note that fear is not from God. Scripture tells us;
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power,
and love, and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
It is, however, a tool Satan uses to do all the things I mentioned above. His goal is to debilitate us so that we do not move forward with our lives. To rob us of our joy and get us to not focus on all the blessings God has given us. And certainly, to keep us from living a life for Christ and sharing the gospel.
Mercy Me has a song that I absolutely love entitled; "Say I Won’t". I love it because it reminds me of who my Father is and the abundant life that He has planned for me.
In the chorus it says;
I'm gonna run
No, I’m gonna fly!
I’m gonna know what it’s like to live
and not just be alive.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be brave enough to not just be alive, but to fly!
Steps to Overcome Fear
1. Talk to your Heavenly Father.
Pour out your heart to Him and share with Him all your fears. Get down to the heart of the matter and what it is that you are truly afraid of. Ask Him to show you areas where your faith waivers.
2. Remember His goodness.
Take time to remember all the times in the past that the Lord has provided for you, helped you, and guided you. Think of the trials that He has brought you through as well as what you learned about yourself and Him during that time.
When we are facing our fears, we think that there is no one to help and we have no hope. This is a lie straight from the pit of hell, so don’t believe it! The truth is;
“Let us then come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
This leads us to our next step.
3. Discover God’s truth about fear.
As I shared earlier, fear is not from the Lord and many scriptures encourage us to not be afraid because our great and mighty God goes before us and stands with us. We are not alone! He guides and instructs us in which path to take or what to do next. He gives us the courage to move forward, trusting Him for the outcome. Here are a few of His truths to get you started.
“Who is the man who fears the Lord?
He will teach him in the way He should choose.”
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye on you.”
And then my favorite.
“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
4. Pray His Word.
There is nothing more powerful than praying the Word of God. It puts you in the center of His will. Look up scriptures that deal specifically with your situation and pray them over your life. You can even change the pronoun in the verse to make it personal for you or the person you are praying for. Pray for God to give you the peace that surpasses all understanding.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
5. Choose to Trust God.
Faith doesn’t just happen. We have to choose to believe the truth of God’s Word and denounce the lies of the enemy. To believe that God is for us and not against us, that He loves us and is in control of our lives. We must trust that He is working behind the scenes even when we can’t see it. To be patient in waiting for His timing and to trust Him for the outcome.
In God whose word I praise, in God I have trusted;
I will not fear. What can mere flesh do to me?
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
You may be wondering, did the Lord provide? Did we end up losing our home? Yes, He absolutely did provide! Where we got the funds to make up nearly 3 months of house payments, I can’t even recall. All that I know is that He is faithful and that I can and do trust Him. Not only did we not lose our home, but I now realize in writing this that I have exactly what I had prayed for that day. Out of the blue, the Lord provided a different job for me. Now, not only do I now get to work from home, but it provides enough income to pay all our expenses and a little extra. God is good!
Faith Lived Out
In following the steps above, consider using a journal to write down your prayers, your thoughts of God’s goodness, and the scripture verses that you want to pray.
Jot down some of the scriptures on sticky notes and place them where you can see them throughout the day. When you begin to worry or try to take back your fear, read and pray the scriptures.
Call upon a friend to be in prayer with you. This will be a spiritual battle that the enemy doesn’t want you to win and there is strength in numbers.