I was about five years old when my parents convinced me to ride a Ferris Wheel. As the car inched upward … I stopped breathing as the grip of fear overwhelmed me! My dad frantically waved at the ride operator, screaming at him to stop the giant rotating hoop and let us off after only one memorable rotation.
Amusement park rides and heights were just a couple of my many childhood fears.
As an adult, I realized that heights, bugs, and the dark were not as life-threatening as I’d once believed. But unfortunately, I just replaced those childhood fears with grown-up terrors.
Eventually, my doctor diagnosed me with high-anxiety agitation/depression. And although medication and counseling helped me function better day-to-day, they didn’t change what was going on in my head or my heart.
I still had a list of things that terrified me and eventually, some of those things happened.
I had a choice to make…
I could either pull the covers over my head and hide or turn to God for help.
Since staying in bed for the rest of my life wasn’t really an option, I cried out to God in prayer and grabbed my Bible hoping it would show me how to have a strong faith in His promises.
And through His grace, God gave me just enough strength to do life one moment at a time. He didn’t magically or suddenly make me fearless rather He gave me the faith I needed to live that day.
And that’s all we need, isn’t it?
A strong faith that will reject fear today!
If you or someone you love struggles with fear, I have a list of things that help me reject my fear with faith – one day at a time…
How to Have a Strong Faith that will Reject Fear
It took me too long to accept that my fear was caused by a lack of faith.
Deep down I think I knew it, but I was a pastor’s wife raising preacher’s kids, I’d read the “do not be afraid” and “be strong and courageous” verses and I was ashamed to admit that I was afraid because my faith was weak.
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Matthew 8:26
Jesus calmed the storm. He healed the sick and raised the dead.
Through His death and resurrection, He gave us eternal life and through His life, He taught us how to LIVE.
So, let’s begin…
♥ Ask God for Greater Faith
Jesus said, “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23–24
Jesus next words didn’t rebuke the father … He rebuked the evil that had a hold on the man’s son and on a watching crowd.
God is greater than our greatest fear and greater than any evil this world has to offer.
♥ Assess Your Fear
“Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat.”
So, it’s important to assess if our fear is true or just a “what if”. Next, it’s important to decide if this is something we can control or change and assess how it’s affecting the way we live.
Then we must remember…
Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:18 (NCV)
Fear that debilitates is not from God, it is from the enemy!
And Jesus has defeated Satan! God is greater than any fear the enemy is using to torment us.
♥ Pray Continually
Prayer is not a one and done experience, especially when it comes to fear. I’m learning that when I take fear to God as soon as it hits me … it takes my focus off my fear and places it squarely on Jesus.
In John 14, Jesus said…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” v. 1
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” v. 6
You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! v. 13–14
God wants you and me to be strong and courageous! We can ask Him to give us a strong faith that will reject fear trusting that He will.
♥ Find a Faith Mentor
Talk to a counselor. Ask a wise friend to tell you about a time God helped them through a time of fear. Join a small group Bible Study. Spend time with people who encourage you to grow in faith.
“Mentoring is: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness” ~ Janet Thompson
♥ Keep Scripture Close
Carry note cards with quotes and verses that help you focus on God … not your fear.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:13–14
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” He said. “Take courage. I am here!” Matthew 14:27
♥ Don’t Borrow Fear from Others
If the news and your friend’s posts on Facebook bring your fear to the surface. Take a break. Turn off the television and budget your time social media. Focus on doing things you enjoy and turn your frightened thoughts into prayers.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
♥ Be Your Own Best Cheerleader
Take charge of your thoughts.
Remind yourself that you are loved, you are precious, you are here at this time and place for God’s plans and purposes. You can trust Him.
Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4–5
♥ Be Someone Else’s Cheerleader
Build up and encourage the people around you.
Tell someone about the way God helped you in the past … you will encourage them and you’ll be strengthened and encouraged too!
“Sometimes God redeems your story by surrounding you with people who need to hear your past, so it doesn’t become their future.” ~John Acuff
♥ Give Up the Need to be Perfect
You’re human. You’re not perfect.
Ask for forgiveness when you fail and stop being afraid of failing or disappointing others. Fear keeps us from being the people God wants us to be. He created us to flourish … to thrive. He wants us to LIVE with joy for His glory!
Living in the freedom of Christ defeats fear!
In Christ, we can come before God with freedom and without fear. We can do this through faith in Christ. Ephesians 3:12 (NCV)
♥ Keep Your Focus on Today
Why do our “what if” thoughts rarely have happy endings?
Worry and fear are close cousins. How I wish I could have a do-over on the countless hours I spent worrying about “what-ifs” that never happened. And the things that did, well, all my worry and fear prevent a thing.
When I live my today without fear of the future, I’m fully engaged and able to see and enjoy the big and small blessings God is continuously giving me.
“If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer – His grace sufficient, His promise unchangeable.” ~ John Newton
♥ Don’t Give Up the Fight
I’d love to tell you that I don’t worry anymore … that I’m never frightened. But really, you probably wouldn’t believe me anyway.
What I can tell you, is that by God’s grace, I am able to remember all that God has gotten me through in the past, accept my fear for the lie it is, and with God’s help step out in faith and take on the day.
When I forget or fail – I trust that I can take it to God. Ask for forgiveness. And try again tomorrow.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
I’ve learned through experience that courage and strength are rarely if ever infused into my life.
The only way have a strong faith that will reject fear is focus on all that God has done for me in the past, take my current circumstances to Him in prayer, and ask Him to give me the courage I need to get out of bed and LIVE!
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