How to Overcome Your Fear of Trouble and Trust God
I grew up in the church, I married a preacher and spent decades as a preacher’s wife… I could talk about living life surrendered to God but actually doing it…
I was terrified of what might be asked of me if I gave my whole life over to God and trusted Him completely.
I’d read Jesus words…
In this world, you will have trouble. John 16:33
I know, I skipped the most important parts of the verse, and we’ll get to them … but for most of my life the “you will have trouble” words seemed like they were written in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS!
I guess that’s why I overcompensated in “right-living.”
I believed in Jesus as my Savior, did my best to obey, and prayed like crazy that would be the best way to prevent “trouble.”
But it wasn’t! “Trouble” showed up big time!
And when it did all my “good-girl” living came crashing down around me.
I was a mess. Embarrassingly so.
I needed help!
I needed the rest of the verse…
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace” and “take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In my brokenness I began to realize I didn’t need a life that was safe and easy or even one that looked good, I needed Jesus. I needed the real living presence of God in my life.
That was the first-step of surrender for me.
By God’s grace, He allowed me to come to the end of myself when I realized I didn’t have any “good-girl” right living to offer . . . all I had we my broken heart.
So, I cried, I prayed, and I picked up my Bible and started reading . . . Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus all the way through Revelation.
And for the first time, I wasn’t reading to find answers or to learn how to be the perfect “good girl” … I was desperately seeking the things I finally knew nothing in the world could give me.
The more I read, the more I prayed. And as I fell more and more in love with my Savior, Jesus, I asked God to help me give myself completely to…
The One who is able to strengthen me when I’m afraid.
The One who can pick up the pieces of my messy life and hold me together.
The One who knows my future and able to guide my days.
The One who is all I need to live with peace, comfort, and hope.
The One who gives me joy!
The One who is faithful to keep every promise.
I’ll be honest though, complete surrender is a process, it didn’t happen overnight. Well, it didn’t for me anyway. Too often, I felt like I was taking two steps closer with a stutter step back.
Fear and self-sufficiency are hard habits to break!
I still occasionally wanted to believe that if I could just get it right, just do it right . . . maybe God would get on board, fix my mess, and take away my “trouble.”
But God didn’t fix my mess … He began the work of fixing me.
I began to believe I could trust God.
Even if God didn’t fulfill my hopes and dreams?
I could trust God.
Even if His plans for me were different than mine?
I could trust God.
Even if things got worse before they got better?
I could trust God.
And He gave me this life-verse to remind me…
My heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 (NIV)
Yes, several of the very “troubles” I’d feared had happened.
I started to believe I could trust God to give me everything I needed even if things got worse — and for a few years, they did!
The interesting and yes, even the best part, was that although our circumstances were worse I was surrendering more and more of myself.
As I trusted His promises.
To give me peace.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6b–7
To give me strength.
But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
To restore my joy.
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. Psalm 126:5
To give me hope.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. Romans 5:5
And heal my broken heart.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3
God hasn’t fixed my mess or resolved all my troubles but . . . He has healed me.
And He is able to do the same for you.
Isn’t it awesome to know…
God may not clean up the mess going on around you, but He will clean up the mess going on inside you.
And even when you and I take that backward stutter step, it’s awesome to know . . . God will not give up on us.
He wants us to know that He is … Huge. Powerful. Indescribable. Unimaginable. Loving. Caring. Personal.
He wants us to trust and love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Mark 12:30
When I gave up trying to define and explain Him. When I quit trying to manipulate and control Him. When I learned to sit quietly at His feet and allow Him to fill my heart and mind—that is when I finally knew I could trust Him.
And my fear of “trouble” was replaced with God’s perfect love.
His perfect love casts out all fear. 1 John 4:18
Maybe you can relate to my story…
Maybe you’re working hard to be “good” because you’re afraid to trust.
Maybe you’re living in fear because you’re afraid of the world’s “trouble.”
Maybe you’ve gotten the message from your church or other Christians that you need to be “good” before you can receive God’s love or theirs.
If that’s the case, I’m sorry.
Please know that believers don’t intend to give confusing messages and we don’t mean to say one thing and do another.
We’re growing and learning and we’re sinful.
We make God too small, too human.
We get the world’s lies mixed in and mixed up with God’s truth.
We judge others and excuse ourselves.
We talk more than we listen and fail to love well.
Please forgive us and turn to Jesus. You can trust Him.
Jesus said, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the One who sent me.” John 12:44–45
He is greater than your troubles. He has overcome the world!
You can overcome your fear and trust God.
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Your post here today really moved me and just wanted you to know and express my gratitude. I have been reading Counting my Blessings for a little while now and love it. Today’s message touched my heart. Happy Memorial Day to you!
Thank you so very much, Deb! What a kind encouragement this morning. I can’t tell you how much it means to me! God totally used you to bless my day! Happy Memorial Day to you, too! Hugs!
Je suis vraiment stressé ,j’étais pasteur en chef d’un ministère à Douala au Cameroun, le seigneur nous a révélé qu’une soeur sorte des eaux à initié beaucoup de personnes, j’ai appéle la soeur a nie ,puis elle a utilisé mon prédécesseur pour sabotage, la direction sans prier m’à demandé de m’asseoir, et celui qu’on a placé, ne me laisse pas servir ,mais de nous avertit que nous devons prier ,et continuer ,à servir ,mais aujourd’hui c’est fille qui commande, prier pour moi ,c’ fort ,ma famille nous sommes en enfer, il font tout contre moi ,prier pour nous que Dieu vous aide ,j’ai besoin d’un mégaphone pour prècher dans les marchés et les lieu publique
Elle sort des eaux et à initié beaucoup de personnes à l’èglise ,les leader disent que la sorcellerie n’existe plus à l’église ,c’gravé le seigneur me demande de rester et d’attendre prier pour nous et le prédécesseur profite pour me saboter ,quand ,j’ai pris on a découvert beaucoup de choses qu’il faisait aider moi ,je suis en danger pas facile j’aime le texte je vais mediter
Francois, I am so sorry you are going through this difficult time. It is so very painful when people come against us … especially someone in the church. I am praying for you and asking God to stand with you, to guide and direct the leadership to the truth, and to give you His peace and strength each day. God bless you!
Once again, perfect timing. I just posted today that for years I’ve been believing the lie that I can’t trust God with all of my life – as if somehow my actions could control my life better than God. I’m now beginning the journey you wrote about – trusting God with everything. Thank you for sharing your life, again.
Deni, you have gone through so much lately. I tried to leave a comment on your post but it wouldn’t let me so I’m adding it here…
Deni, I am so glad you are feeling better and yes, it is so nice to be enjoying warm days again … even if somedays feel a little too warm. 🙂 Your letter writing ministry sounds awesome and what a blessing it must be!
I allowed worry and anxiety to fill my life for way too many years. Learning to trust God completely is a process that happens in our challenges but oh my, what a place it is to enjoy the peace that passes understanding because you KNOW you can TRUST Him. He is faithful to His promises. God bless you!
Thank you so much for this post! It hit my heart with a great big thud.
Thank you for stopping to let me know, Laura! I always pray that God will use my openness about my struggle to bless others. Your encouragement blesses me!
Deb, I’m not sure if you know how much I relate to this post, but I do, and I think many of us will. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony and for shining the light squarely on Jesus and not on our messed up selves. To God be all the glory! Blessings to you, my friend.
Oh, Carlie, your family has been through so much the last few years. Thank you for your kind encouragement. We are a mess, aren’t we?! I can’t imagine where I’d be without Him. God blessings to you as well!!
Deb, I am thankful for each one of your posts. God blessed me when He brought me to one of your posts. I thought that I was a (good) christian. I wasn’t totally committed to God even though I thought I was. I had a way of teaching us to depend on Him and realize how big He is. When I was struck with cancer and had to quit working, I was scared financially. I learned to trust God for my every need. You better believe that He did meet them. Even while I was seeing this, I had doubts sometimes. He showed me that if I would give Him my all that He would give me His all. I could go on and on about the blessings that I have seen since I have been ill. God is with us in our troubles.
Melissa, fear is a huge barrier to completely trusting God and allowing Him to give us His indescribable peace. I’m sure that’s why He told us not to be afraid so many times in His Word. And although I read the words it was so hard to let go of my fear. Being ill had to be so scary – yet, I love how God shows up and allows us to learn of His faithfulness through life’s struggles. He shows up in our worst to give us His best – those things that our souls need most of all. God bless you.
From one reformed “good girl” to another, Deb, I can so relate to your words here today. Every time troubles have come, and there have been many over the years and they continue, I find that I AM trusting more and more in God to see me through. And He’s faithful to do it every single time. When I feel fear beginning to rise for whatever reason, I run to Him in prayer, and He offers His peace and calm. Where would I be without Jesus? Oh, so lost!
Blessings to you!
Thanks so much for sharing, Deb. This message is such an encouragement. Blessings to you.
Psalm 73:26 is one of my life verses also! Thank you for sharing this word of testimony. I can definitely relate to that process God brings us through to find that HE is our Portion. It wasn’t fun, but it was more than worth it.
Well said, Deb! Thank you for sharing your insight into the trustworthiness of God amidst our trials and pain. One of my all-time favorite verses is John 16:33. That last sentence “…. but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” often brings a tear to my eye!
This is great encouragement to me. I’m so thankful I have God and His grace to focus on instead of the mess I am. He is good!
What a beautiful post! So much truth. I too lived that lie before – grew up in doubt and fear because I could never live up to His standards… When in reality it wasn’t on me. Jesus did all the work. God’s grace is sufficient. When I finally understood the difference between Grace and Law, I was free! I was baptised at the age of 30 when it all finally made sense to me and the peace and joy that comes with letting go and trusting God is indescribable! Considering that from the outside my life now probably looks really much worse than it ever was – I have never been more at peace. Praise God! Thank you for sharing
Oh, how difficult it is to surrender! But it’s something I have to consciously do again and again. Learning to trust God is an ongoing process. Thanks for the encouragement to stick with it, Deb.
Deb, love your comforting testimony and all the powerful verses you’ve shared here! Thank you!