Mar 14, 2014
Last night, and this morning, I’ve been battling fear.
Because my doctors are recommending a medical procedure that carries some risks. Because I fear future health issues. And because I feel inadequate as I think about an upcoming mission trip to India.
So I thought I’d share some favorite bible verses about fear to strengthen my own faith, and hopefully encourage yours.
Here they are —
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Here Paul commands us not to be anxious, which means don’t be fearful.
That’s encouraging, because it means that no child of God ever has any reason to be afraid.
It also means that when I am afraid (like right now), I don’t need to stay there, because God promises to guard my mind and heart with his peace.
So what do I need to do to experience God’s peace? Two things —
- Bring my requests to God (I’m asking God for no complications from the medical procedure, for physical health, and for grace on the mission trip).
- Do this with thanksgiving for all God has done for me. This will remind me of God’s goodness, and help me trust that however he chooses to answer my requests, it will be loving and good and will bring me more joy in him (2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 12:9-10; Psalm 119:71).
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
It’s encouraging that God promises to be with me. But for this promise to help me overcome fear, I need to be specific about what that means.
And here God explains that to have God be with me means —
- He will strengthen me. No matter what happens, he will always give me all the strength I need.
- He will help me. He will never leave me alone to face any problem. He will always be there with all the wisdom, finances, love, joy, encouragement — everything I need.
- He will uphold me with his righteous right hand. He will not let me sink. He will hold me up so I am comforted, filled, and satisfied in him.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Fear can fill your heart so much that it feels like nothing can free you from it.
But God promises that the Holy Spirit can fill you with peace, joy, and abounding hope — which means he can overcome your fear.
But this does not happen automatically. We must believe. That means turning to Jesus just as I am, with my fear and unbelief, and trusting him to welcome me and strengthen my faith (Luke 18:13-14; Mark 9:24).
Then, since faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17), I need to pray over God’s promises until I experience the Spirit strengthening my faith. When that happens I will start to feel joy, peace, and hope — in him.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
He asks — What can flesh do to me? Which means — What can other people, or my circumstances do to me?
But how is that comforting? Can’t people or circumstances cause problems — like a doctor messing up a medical procedure, or India’s heat sapping my energy?
Yes, problems can happen. So why not fear? It’s because God is in sovereign control over what doctors do, over the heat, over my energy level — over everything.
That does not mean I’ll avoid all problems. But it means that whatever happens is ultimately ordained by God to bring me even more joy in his glory forever (Romans 8:16-18).
I’m Feeling Stronger
This has been good for my soul.
I’m seeing God more clearly. My faith is stronger.
My fear is almost gone, and I’m feeling peace, and even joy, in God.
Once again, he has been faithful to help me.
Thank you, Father.
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- A Reader Asks: if Bad Things Can Happen, then Why Not Worry?
- How Jesus Frees Us from Fear (4-min video)
- 4:00 AM Worries
- What Does the Bible Say about Insecurity?
(Picture from everystockphoto by hotblack.)