How to Stop Living with Fear and Start Living with Faith
As long as I can remember I have worried about something. I think about what could go wrong and then worry about it. Scripture says that fear and worry causes “torment”. (1 John 4:18) And that has been true for me, since through the years my worrying has brought torment along with it. And your fears and worries will bring torment to you too.
God does not want us to live in fear or worry or torment. He wants us to live joyful lives loving and trusting and following Him. Over and over throughout Scripture God calls his children not to worry or be afraid. But how do we do that? What replaces fear or worry? You guessed it, the answer is faith! Faith in God. Holley Gerth in her book, You’re Going to be Okay writes “Worry is an attempt to control what we can never control. That’s why it’s so hard to stop.” page. 179. She adds: “Worriers place their faith in their ability to “control” the future. Jesus asks us to place our faith firmly in Him instead.” page. 180.
Not worrying or being fearful doesn’t mean that we don’t work to make a better future or that we aren’t concerned about problems and try to solve them. We should try to foresee future troubles and plan on ways to deal with them as best we can. Holly Gerth writes: “The difference is that being concerned ultimately releases people to look to God, while worry places the burden of their lives on their own shoulders.” We do our best with what we can do and then trust God to do what we cannot do.
“Moving from fear to faith is a process. We will need to break an old habit (fear) and learn a new habit (trusting God). If you have been used to worrying like I have, it may take time to stop walking down that old familiar path called “fear” or its’ cousin “worry.” Instead each time things go wrong, try walking down a new path called “faith”. Faith in God. Scripture says one way we can find that new pathway of faith is by hearing and believing the Bible, Gods’ Word. “…Faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word of God…” (Romans 10:17)
One of the reasons I love studying the Bible is that I learn to trust God more and more as I hear or read the Word of God. God’s Word is a powerful life-giving tonic. When you believe the amazing promises in the Bible and let them sink in, they will be like soothing medicine curing your fears and worries and giving you hope and faith in God. You can “stand” on Gods’ Biblical promises when troubles come and fight fear with faith.
Jesus says: “You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Truth isn’t just dry knowledge. Truth is a Person. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the Truth! (John 14:6) When Jesus invites us to know the Truth, He is inviting us to know Himself! Jesus is asking us to trust Him and follow Him. And one of the main things Jesus calls us to do is to love one another. In this world where there is so much prejudice and fear and hate, Jesus calls us to spread love. Scripture says that: “Perfect love drives out all fear.” (1 John 4:18)
Let’s read a few of Gods’ many promises in the Bible. Promises that are made to believers in Christ. And promises that can push us off that dark pathway of fear and nudge us onto the bright pathway of faith.
First: God promises to be with you all the time. “Fear not for I am with you, be not afraid for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10) And “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Second: God is for you: “If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present nor in the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6)
Third: God is in control: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. “(Psalm 23) We are not the ruler of our own lives. Like sheep we are not capable of controlling our future. We are in God’s control. He is our Shepherd.
Fourth: God makes you victorious: “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:18) “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37) God does not promise that He will keep us from trouble and persecutions and sorrows. We will have hard times in our lives and we will face loss. But God has promised to bring us through all of our troubles and in the end we will be victorious through Christ. We may not see this victory until we reach heaven. But it is there. Hallelujah!
Fifth: God provides for you: “My God will meet all your needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) We are asked to pray for what we need and we will receive if it is in God’s will. “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) “Cast all of your cares upon Him (Jesus) for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Let these Biblical promises sink into your soul. If you haven’t already, let the grass grow over any miserable path of fear in your life. And instead start walking over the joyful path of faith in God. And take love along on your faith journey and you will truly be living the good life.
Many of the ideas in this blog were taken from Holley Gerths’ book “You’re Going to Be Okay” p. 167-178 Chapter “Your Future is Full of Hope”