A few weeks ago, a friend asked me, “What is one major thing you struggle with, that keeps you from striving towards God?” The second I heard it, the answer became clear– fear.
We all face fears, fear of the future, failure, rejection, and betrayal. It’s crippling.
The fact is, if we aren’t careful, fear will take root in our lives and control all our decisions. It creeps in like a thief seeking to take our joy and confidence, and leaves us with doubt, worry and distrust.
Fear is not from God. In fact, the English translation of the Bible declares 365 times, in some form to, “Fear not!” Coincidence? I don’t think so.
This summer, I heard a speaker say, “What you fear the most reveals where you trust God the least.” Before I heard this, I thought I trusted God. However, if this statement is true, I have a trust problem. This means I don’t trust God with my future, my family, or my relationships.
The opposite of love is fear. Why don’t I go talk to the new kid? Because I’m afraid of what people might think. Why do I question the mission God has called my family to? Because I am afraid of the future and all the “what ifs” that are swirling around in my head.
God is love. There is no separation between God and love; it is simply who he is. And because God is love, fear cannot be found in Him.There is no separation between God and love; it is simply who he is. Click To Tweet
1 John 4:16-18 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement: in this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
I sometimes imagine what God is thinking as I let fear take over:
“Oh, you think you’ve fallen too far from my grace? I know the past, present and the future. I knew about your sin before you committed it, and I died for you anyway, because I love you” (1 John 3:20, Ephesians 1:4).
“You wonder whether you are qualified to do kingdom work? My power is made perfect in your weakness. You don’t have to be perfect, because my perfection will shine through you. I created you as my masterpiece to do the good things I planned for you long ago” (2 Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 2:10).
When we fully experience God, there is no longer room for fear. He calls us to live in faith and trust. But how do we learn to trust in God in a world where we question everything?
1. Remember who He is, and what He promises
He is the Great I AM. When God says that he is love, that he is truth, and that he is life, he means it! He didn’t create them, he is Love, Truth, and Life. And when he says that he will work all things out for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28), you better believe he means it! His plans might not align with your plans, and they might not be exactly what you want, but it is what you need.
2. Remember what He has done
The Bible is filled with examples of God’s provision in the lives of people like you and me. Look at your past and recognize all the times when he brought you through the storm. Know that just as he protected and delivered you then, he will do it again.
3. Ask for help
The beautiful thing about prayer is that you can have 24/7 communication with God. He already knows what you’re thinking, so why not talk to him about it? Ask him to speak to you through his Word and fill you with peace.
In what areas of your life do you struggle with fear? How is God calling you away from that fear and into his love?
God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me.
Oh, how you love me; somehow that frees me to
take my hands off of my life and the way it should go.
I give You control.
–Control, Tenth Avenue North