As human beings, fear is a natural part of life. It can even be helpful in some circumstances to protect us from dangerous situations.
Experiencing the feeling of fear isn’t a problem, but we all know how easy it is to let fear and worry into our thinking and consequently into our decisions and actions.
At one point, I realised that a lot of my decisions (if not all) were choices made out of fear. Even if I didn’t feel particularly afraid of a situation, my reasoning behind decisions I made was very fearful, leading me to settle for less than what I really wanted.
Some examples of common thoughts swirling in my head: “if I try and fail, it will be painful, so I’d rather not try,” and “if I begin that, there’s a lot of potential for mistakes, and I don’t want to make a mistake and therefore seem weak, so I won’t begin.”
In my fear, I thought my reasoning was called “wisdom” and “practicality.”
In reality, it was Satan trying to rob me from experiencing the fullness of life that Jesus died and rose to give me.
God brought me to a turning point one afternoon when He said to me:“Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or of things failing, because even in the “failure” I will be there and I will comfort you, so you don’t actually have anything to fear. You won’t go without. You will not lack. You will not be overcome by pain. Who do you think I am?”
Hearing this from God refreshed me and slapped me in the face all at once.
In that moment, I chose to relinquish my grasp of my life and turn in full control to the One who gave life to me.
It is a wonderful thing to have a powerful and gracious God who has paid the price and freed us from the binds of fear (woohoo)!
What is the truth?
There’s this amazing book that I’ve been reading that is filled with inspiring and empowering wisdom - on pretty much everything – and there’s so much encouragement on how to deal with fear in there!
It is, without contest, the greatest book that has ever been written.
It’s called the Bible, have you heard of it?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:22-26 NIV)
We are disciples of Jesus; he has said to us “do not worry.” Jesus himself has invited us to live free from fear; to live out of courage and security rather than anxiety. What can worrying do for us except waste our time and rob from our joy?
When the Son of God invites you to do something, I think it’s safe to say you should swiftly accept the offer.
“’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)
Make decisions from a place of courage, even when you don’t feel courageous.
Inform yourself and your situation of the truth! The Prince of Peace is my friend. The Almighty Comforter is always with me. The Lord, our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel Himself will help you.
What’s causing my fear?
There are a lot of root issues for the fear filter in our minds.
You could be afraid to trust God, afraid to give your life to something you can’t see or touch, to relinquish complete control to someone else. You might have made a lot of mistakes in the past, experienced a lot of pain from them and therefore don’t trust yourself anymore. These are just a few of the big fear roots that we can be hiding in.
If you’re finding yourself anxious often or experiencing regular or extreme levels of fear, I’d encourage you to ask yourself a few questions.
“Do I trust God?” And if the answer to this is no, “why not?”
“Do I trust myself?” And again, if the answer is no, “why not?”
Then, ask God to come in and heal what needs to be healed and to open your heart to who He is and who you are. Ask Him what areas in your life need to be unchained. He wants to release you into a life of joy and hates seeing you bound in fear.
Holy Spirit, thank you for surrounding us always and for whispering your truth to our hearts. We ask you to reveal the dark and dusty places within us that need to be blown open by truth and light. Each time we feel fearful, remind us of your word and bring us back to peace. We refuse to be overcome by anxiety and fear. Let us be people who live from courage, Lord. Amen!
Laura Miles is an excitable and fast-paced Brit, living in Australia. Loves: tea, maximalist fashion and people. Hates: brushing her hair and being put into a box. Studying to become a doctor, she is expectant and excited to see all the crazy things that the Lord is going to do in her life.