February 12, 2013 by eric echols
Every day we have a choice to make, we can either live by faith or we can live by fear. Faith and fear cannot co-exist. Fear, simply stated, is unbelief. As this unbelief gets the upper hand, fear begins to control our emotions and our thoughts. On the other hand, faith is about assurance and conviction (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith is a confident assurance in a God who loves us, who knows our thoughts, and cares about our deepest needs. Biblical faith is not wishful thinking but rather a settled confidence that God will keep His promises. As our assurance and conviction grow, faith begins to guide our emotions, thoughts, and actions.
I’ve discovered that most of our fears can be summed up in 3 categories:
- We fear DARKNESS – this if fear of the unknown. This fear creeps in when we are going through situations and the future is unclear. We become fearful when uncertainty is on the horizon.
- We fear DEATH – this is fear of loss. Many people are paralyzed by the fear of dying or facing the death of a loved one. This fear of loss also plays out when we have a fear of dying to ourselves so that we can fully submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
- We fear DEFEAT – this is fear of rejection or fear of failure. This fear keeps us from taking risk. It stops us from stretching ourselves and expanding our possibilities. Fear of defeat causes us to live with the status quo.
So, how do we overcome our fear? We do so by increasing our faith. As our faith increases our fear decreases. Our faith increases when we have a growing confidence and assurance that God is for us, that He will never leave us, and that He is sovereign over our entire lives.
As I was reading Psalm 27:1, it was another reminder that the very nature of who God is helps us overcome our fear. David writes, “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?”. These verses tell us 3 characteristics of God that help us overcome our most common fears.
- God is our LIGHT – God’s light illuminates our darkness. Even when we can’t see, we know that God can and that He will shed light on our situation in His time. We can have faith that God knows our unknowns.
- God is our SALVATION – God’s salvation provides hope in the face of death. Knowing that God loves us and desires a relationship with us through Jesus Christ helps us overcome our fear of death. We have no reason to fear because we are secured in the hands of our loving Heavenly Father.
- God is our STRONGHOLD – God’s strength lifts us up when we are defeated. When God is our power and strength, we can take risks and break free from the status quo.
Each day we have a choice…we can be controlled by fear or guided by faith. Choose faith!