How do I conquer fearful thoughts that plague me from time to time?
My kids like this bit from the Lion King movie where Simba says, “I laugh in the face of danger, ha ha ha! This got me thinking – do I ever stand confidently in the face of danger, or when faced with fear-inducing situations? What is my reaction when faced with moments of fear? Most importantly, what should I do to conquer the thoughts that characterize fear?
Remember that I belong to him
Isaiah 43:1 ‘But now, this is what the Lord says — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”’ (NIV)
When the enemy speaks words of fear into your heart, his aim is to make you forget that as a child of God, you have the power to overcome such thoughts. The best way out of this situation is to always remember that you are a child of God, and that you are entitled to God’s protection and blessing! All you need to do is ask your Father for his help!
Remember that he is always beside me
Deuteronomy 31:8 “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (NLT)
The Lord spoke these words to Joshua just before he took over leadership of the children of Israel. You can imagine how Joshua felt – facing the daunting task of stepping into the Moses’ shoes! God knew that what he was asking of Joshua was tough, so he encouraged him using those words. Later on, God used similar words when he commissioned him.
Deuteronomy 31:23 ‘Then the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun with these words: “Be strong and courageous, for you must bring the people of Israel into the land I swore to give them. I will be with you”’ (NLT)
The Lord knew that there would be times when Joshua would be afraid, even though he was one of the strongest and bravest people among the Israelites. The words, “I will be with you,”, “he will neither fail you nor abandon you” were important, because God knew what the hearts of the people were like. He knew that the Israelites would make their leader’s life difficult with their sin, complaining and rebellion, so he gave Joshua his reassurance in advance!
There will definitely be times when you and I will be fearful. The good news is, however, God has assured us of his presence. That assurance alone should banish any thoughts of fear!
Remember that trusting in him dispels fear
Whenever I feel afraid, the first thing on my mind is usually to focus on what is causing the fear. Often, trusting in God comes later after I have tried everything I can to get rid of the fearful thoughts and feelings. According, to the Bible, however, the first thing we should do when afraid is trust in God.
Psalm 56:3-4 “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” (NLT)
I like the part that says, “I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” To me, this statement implies that fear and trust cannot co-exist – I am either trusting in God, or afraid because I trust in something other than God!
It’s not easy to toss your fears out of the window, especially when your fear is caused by a situation that is completely out of your control. Trusting in God however transfers the feeling of helplessness to him, leaving him to take control of the situation. Because you no longer have to worry about what is going to happen, your fear disappears! The best way to deal with fear, therefore, is to trust in him!
The words from the verse below summarize all that I have shared above about fear. We need not fear because God is near, ready to strengthen and help us when we choose to trust in him.
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)
HI everyone! Thanks again for stopping by and reading this week’s article? What are your thoughts on fear? Please share in the comments section. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends! Have a great week – Alison.