“The devil uses fear to keep the world under his power just as the Lord uses faith to set men free. The course of our lives will be dictated by faith or fear.”
Fear has plagued me throughout my life. The definition of fear is “a painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil.” My Dad used to say fear is one of the most powerful emotions. Fear is the absence of faith, while faith is the absence of fear. They cannot coincide together.
My typical response to fear is procrastination. Maybe I irrationally think if I put it off long enough, it will simply go away! I want to avoid the things I fear such as conflict with other people. When I give in to fear it’s like someone has chained me up and I’m immobilized to take a step forward. Fear prevents me from doing the will of God.
A few months prior to 911, I was a part of a World Vision prayer initiative to the nation of Syria. I’m half Syrian so my desire to go on that short-term mission trip was to return to my roots. Numerous fears were nipping at my heart trying to prevent me from going. I struggled with not knowing anyone else on the team, flying internationally alone, and sleeping in a hotel room by myself. Before I left, the Lord gave me a principal truth to live by. He said, “When you face your fears, freedom is found.” When we don’t face our fears we are held captive and stay in bondage to our anxieties.
God was so right. Facing my fear of sleeping alone in a hotel room turned into one of the biggest blessings. My times alone with the Lord in Syria were some of the most intimate times I’ve ever had with Him, as I worshiped Him through dance and listened to His voice. We experience the grace of God when we do the very things we fear.
Just the other day the Lord orchestrated another “facing your fear” time…another opportunity for me to grow up, to trust and depend on Him. My sweet husband came alongside of me and helped me process what I needed to do. Later I told him I was thankful I was not alone in this struggle and that he and I were on the same team.
These truths are the same with Jesus. We are never alone in our dealings with fear. God is always with us and He’s on our team. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “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.”
We will not see God’s Promise Land if we allow fear to rule our lives. We need faith to enter into our Promise Land. Fear prevents us from seeing God’s goodness working in our lives and from remembering what He’s done for us in the past. It makes us refuse to believe in who God says He is and His promises to us.
The solution to fear is faith. Psalm 56:3 encourages us to trust in God when we’re afraid. Yes, that is easier said than done, yet it is the pathway to freedom. While fear prevents us from obeying God, faith encourages our obedience. Fear robs us of our destinies, while faith releases us to fulfill the purposes of God. You can face your fears head on when you know you’re not alone and that God is on your team. Have no fear, for God is near.
“The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurance to us.”
1. How do you react to fear and how has fear caused you to disobey God?
2. List the fears you’re currently facing along with promises from God’s Word to encourage faith in these areas.
3. Reflect on the ways God has come through for you in the past to give you courage to face future fears.