Science tells us that all babies have two inborn fears incorporated into their human DNA and their immature nervous systems: the fear of loud noises and fear of falling.
Other than these two fears, every fear we experience throughout life is acquired, from the fear of closed spaces to fear of open spaces . . . from the fear of being abandoned to the fear of public speaking . . . from fear of darkness to fear of death. Some of these fears protect us and others paralyze us.
So . . . how do we effectively deal with those fears that can paralyze us and prevent us from growing into the person God is calling us to be? Here are two steps you can take toward victory in the ongoing battle between faith and fear.
Step #1 Remember the promises of God
Now, we cannot remember the promises of God if we don’t know the promises of God, and the only way to know the promises of God is to immerse ourselves in the Word of God.
How much time have you been spending God’s Word lately? How many promises can you recite from memory?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
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?
God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
(2 Timothy 1:7)
There simply is no substitute for spending time in the Scriptures if we are ever going to conquer our fears by faith in Jesus Christ.
Step #2 Keep your focus on Christ, not your circumstances
I know this is easier said than done, which is why Step #1 is so critical in this process. The single common denominator for those who focus more on Christ than on their circumstances is their knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. Like the psalmist, they know that the best defense against fear is a good offense.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Alexander MacLaren, an English minister of the late 1800s, put it this way:
Faith, which is trust, and fear are opposite poles. If a man has the one, he can scarcely have the other in vigorous operation. He that has his trust set upon God does not need to dread anything except the weakening or the paralyzing of that trust.
With a mind and heart filled with the Word of God, and with our focus fixed firmly on Christ (rather than our circumstances), faith will conquer any fear we face. We have His Word on it!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!