Standing nervously behind the table, I fidgeted with my blouse. Meanwhile, a student signed our poll: Yes, abortion should be legal.
I was at a college campus with a pro-life group called Justice for All. We were talking with students about abortion. Our goal was to create conversation and help them to think through the issue.
As I stood there, I knew that I should talk with the girl who, by now, was putting down the pen and getting ready to walk away, but I was absolutely terrified.
“Hello,” I said. “Can I ask you why you signed the way you did?”
“Well, I just think that a woman should have the right to control her own body,” replied the girl. I nodded and smiled. I was absolutely petrified and had no idea what to say.
“Have a great day,” I stuttered as she turned to leave.
Fear. It’s paralyzing. It creates hopelessness, depression, and despair. It causes many dreams to die premature deaths. It holds countless young people back from doing hard things for the glory of God.
We live in a world full of pain and suffering, and we have the only answer—Jesus. We have the energy, the desire, the strength, and the enthusiasm, but too often we never move forward because of our fear.We live in a world full of pain and suffering, and we have the only answer—Jesus. Click To Tweet
Fear of failure, fear of what others might think, and fear of rejection can all deal a deadly blow to our dreams of serving the Lord.
If we are going to serve the Lord, we must overcome our fear—but how?
In order to overcome it, we first must understand what it is.
For years I believed that fear is merely an emotion. I read Scripture after Scripture commanding me not to fear but I felt utterly helpless to obey. I can’t always control my emotions. I can control how I respond to them, but the emotions themselves enter my heart unbidden and unwelcome.
As I have studied Scripture, I have come to the conclusion that, biblically, fear is not an emotion. Rather, fear is a wrong action in response to our emotions. We may not be able to keep fearful thoughts from entering our minds, but we can choose whether to dwell on them and how we respond to them.We may not be able to keep fearful thoughts from entering our minds, but we can choose whether to dwell on them and how we respond to them. Click To Tweet
In Hebrews 11 we are told that Moses’ parents hid him for three months because they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
I highly doubt Moses’ parents felt no emotions of fear or worry for their baby. Whatever feelings they might have had, however, they stepped forward in faith and did what was right. They did not act on fearful emotions but rather stood firm on the truth.
So how do we overcome fear?
1. When you are tempted to fear, remember who God is
God is so much bigger than anything we might fear. When we are afraid we need to remember who our God is. We must take our eyes off of the thing that terrifies us and put them back on God. One way to do this is to study the names and descriptions of God throughout Scripture. As we discover who our God is, our faith in him will grow.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”(Psalm 56:3-4)
2. Remember His faithfulness in the past
Remember how he has worked miraculously in the lives of his people in Scripture and throughout history. Read the stories of other believers who have trusted God and found him faithful. Talk with others and ask them to tell you how they have seen God’s faithfulness. Finally, look back over your own life and see how God has been faithful to you.
“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” (Isaiah 25:1)
3. Don’t allow your feelings to lead you
Stand on the truth regardless of what you feel. Do not allow fearful emotions to dictate your actions. Emotions come and go. They are unstable and untrustworthy. Your God is constant and unchanging. Look to him and his word and stand on that truth.
“For ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)
At its roots, fear is faith in the wrong thing. Too often we have more faith in the obstacles than we do in God, who is able to overcome every obstacle. When we choose to do what is right in spite of fearful emotions, we show faith in God. Moses’ parents demonstrated their faith through their actions. They knew that their God was more powerful than Pharaoh.Too often we have more faith in the obstacles than we do in God, who is able to overcome every obstacle. Click To Tweet
When we look to God, meditate on his faithfulness and stand on truth, fear will no longer control us. As children of the King of kings we have nothing to fear, for he has overcome the world. May we, like Moses’ parents, do what is right in spite of our emotions.
May our fears melt away as we look to our King. May we have confidence in the God of our salvation.