Facing the Unknown
It’s perfectly natural to be afraid or scared in certain situations.
Maybe an unexpected financial crisis has you feeling less than prepared for the future. Or perhaps you’ve volunteered to lead a group committee and at the last minute believe you’re not qualified or talented enough to take charge. It could even be that your friends are pressuring you to skydive and you’re terrified of heights.
Whatever shakes our souls tends to magnify the fear we are feeling and propels us to conjure up even more frightening circumstances. So how do we put the smackdown on fear?
When My Confidence Lapses
Some of my own fearful moments are exacerbated when my confidence lapses or when I choose to take control of situation, knowing full well that I can’t outdo God in the faith and trust department.
Such was the case when my daughter was away at college and tornadoes were sighted all around her college community. I couldn’t reach her by phone and she wasn’t answering her texts. After an hour of panic I determined if I didn’t hear from her in the next 30 minutes I would call and request the police to make a welfare check. Then I would drive down and find her myself.
Anxiety and fear overtook me, stripped me of good judgment, and had me wringing my hands. It also made concentrating virtually impossible. Still I knew I needed to get myself together, be calm, and pray. And that’s exactly what I did.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2
God Hears Our Prayers
Thankfully, she called before I felt the need to alert the authorities. And before she could even tell her story her dad informed her we were about to get in the car and head her way. She hadn’t realized how worried we would be. But she explained she had made sure she was in a safe place with people who cared about her. She was busy taking cover while her mother was busy worrying.
Not one of my finest moments, but I was able to gain a sense of peace as I recited one of my favorite phrases from the Bible, “Do not fear.” I just kept repeating it over and over until my emotions eased up.
“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14)
God wants us to focus our eyes on Him, to stand firm in His promises, and not let our hearts be rooted in, or ruled by fear. We must not succumb to fear or let it dictate our thoughts and actions. Not ever.
How to Put the Smackdown on Fear
When I looked back on the turn of events of that day, I knew I needed to put the smackdown on fear if I was going to survive while she was away at college. With all the strength and faith I claimed to possess, I wondered what had caused me to languish in fear? Didn’t I trust the Lord to care for my girl child? Didn’t I realize that He would protect her better than any one? The answer should have been a clear and resounding yes, but for a short period of time, it wasn’t. I had let fear cloud my judgement and determine my thoughts. In fact, fear had almost caused me to crumple to the floor when I should have been standing on His promises. I almost let my fear of the unknown overtake me and steal my joy in Him.
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
Call on the Name of the Lord
Fear will continue to invade our hearts and scatter seeds of doubt. But when these times come we need to rise up with strength and courage, pray fervently, and recite Scripture that declares our trust in God. We won’t ever be free of fear, but we can stand firm in His Word and keep fear from winning. Our faith in Jesus Christ and our complete trust in Him is enough to defeat fear so it doesn’t rear its ugly head and compromise our Christian walk.
Just like Daniel did in the lion’s den and Jehoshaphat did in the midst of battle, we must call on the name of the Lord in prayer and look fear square between the eyes and say, “No more, not today Satan. God’s got this.”
God calls us to live according to His purpose, turning away the flaming arrows that desperately attempt to thwart our efforts to trust and obey Him. More importantly we must place all of our faith in the Holy One, the One in Whom we trust.
When I sense fear is about to strike, I turn to God’s Word and the dozens of Bible verses to put the smackdown on fear. Here are 10 of my favorites.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6 NLT)
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To check out all of the ‘From Fear to Freedom’ posts and free resources click the image below.
- There isn’t a soul among us who hasn’t been tempted by fear at one time or another. Of what are you afraid? Ask God to help you pinpoint the root causes of your fear so you can overcome them with His help
- What fears do you have? Is it worry, anxiety, relationships, job?
- How do you combat fear when it strikes?