“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” – Isaiah 43:2-3
Fear is a strong motivator and very difficult to resist. We allow it to paralyze us when we know we should act, to work us into a frenzy when we know we should remain calm; it causes us to stretch the truth, dictate relationships, and to guide our interactions with each other. Rick Warren says, “Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.”
Fear can drive us to do things that we otherwise would not do. As followers of Jesus Christ, how do we deal with fear? How are we to respond to fears in our past? In our present? And how can we prepare for fears we have yet to face?
Jesus knew that we would be afraid. That is why we read “fear not” over and over again in the Bible. God knows that we alone cannot overcome our fears. Fortunately, His love and grace enable us to conquer our fears. The good news is God does not want us living in fear.
If we are going to do and be all that God intended, then we have to decide to silence the negative voices of fear and instead listen to and speak the truth of God’s Word. The devil will try to fan your fears with “what if you fail? What if you embarrass yourself?” In those times, concentrate on the promises and reassurance of God. Remember His power, love, presence, and trustworthiness. Remember His faithfulness. The reality is that Christ is with us and He is at work in and through us. He is on our side, protecting us always.
Jesus asks us to turn our fear over to Him. Replace that fear with the love, power, and sound mind that He gave us. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) His presence is the answer to our fear. Fight fear with a faithful, indescribable God.
The only way to deal with fear is to face it head-on before it takes over your life. Trust that God is for us and if God is for us what do we have to fear? “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
Again, I don’t know what 2022 and beyond holds, but regardless of what comes your way this year, remember to fear the Lord. There will always be fears to face, but the fear of the Lord will help you face and overcome your fears by focusing on the one who is greater than anything you could face in this life.
- What fears do you have in your life today?
- What can we do this week to give those fears to God?