Do you know what stops many people from fulfilling God’s purpose and doing what He called them to do? FEAR and DOUBT. Both are in direct opposition to the FAITH that we need to walk and please God (2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:6). Don’t be trapped by fear or stuck in doubt; it’s time to overcome.
How Do I Overcome Fear and Doubt?
5 Ways To Conquer Fear
We have to remember that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). God called us and could see us accomplishing His will, so He gave us PURPOSE, not a spirit of fear.
Paul wrote those words as he addressed Timothy, a man called by God. Paul called him to remember the “unfeigned [sincere] faith that is in thee” that was also in his mother, and grandmother, AND to remember to “stir up the gift of God, which is in thee” (2 Tim. 1:5-6). We have to grab hold of faith today because (1) the spirit of fear did NOT come from God, and (2) there are God-given gifts in us that we are supposed to use. We don’t have time to let fear arrest us. Here are 5 ways in scripture to deal with fear.
1. Seek the Lord
In Psalm 34, David found himself in enemy territory under difficult circumstances, but He tells us how he dealt (and we can deal) with fear. He said, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psa. 34:4). When you feel fear rising up, seek the Lord! Go after God! Tell Him how you feel and ask for His help; He is willing to deliver, settle, and intervene when we invite Him into our situation.
2. Trust in God
David found himself captured by the Philistines in Psalm 56, and though he described how many men fought him, oppressed him, tried to swallow him up, His conclusion is powerful. He said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psa. 56:3). Fear is a human emotion and at times, you might find yourself afraid, but what are you going to do? That is the moment to resolve to trust God, and have confidence in Him, relying on Him to come through and help you in the middle of trouble.
3. Rehearse What God Did
In Deuteronomy 7, Moses addressed Israel, saying, “If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid” (Deut. 7:18-19).
Even when the mission they were facing and the enemies they were fighting were more than them, they STILL did not have to be afraid. Why? If they (and we) could just REMEMBER all the things God has already done, the reasons to fear the present struggle disappear! He ALREADY brought them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. He ALREADY defeated death and rescued us from sin. If He did it before, He can do it again! Don’t fear what’s ahead; He’s clearly able to handle this, and that, too.
4. Remember Who God Is
Isaiah 12:2 teaches us to remember who this God is so we don’t have to be afraid. It says, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” If God is your salvation, strength, and strong, what reason is there to be afraid? What’s bigger than Him? You have to remember who He is and trust Him!
The Psalmist put it like this: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell” (Psa. 27:1-2). Remembering who He is and what He did puts this test in proper perspective. What’s hard for you is a light thing for God! Magnify God and your fears pale in comparison.
5. Grow In Love
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” The more I understand the love God has for me and grow in my love for Him, the less I have to fear. Galatians 5:6 let us know that faith worketh, or is energized, by love. As we grow in love relationship with God, we can believe and trust Him with confidence, no matter what we face. God is entirely trustworthy, and knowledge of His love assures our hearts that He’s got us and He’s got this too.
5 Ways To Build Your Faith (and Eliminate Doubt)
All of these strategies are really centered around the FAITH in God and faith in God’s WORD that is opposite fear and doubt. Faith is how we walk (2 Cor. 5:7), how we live (Heb. 10:38), and certainly key to how we minister (Rom. 12:6). You can build your faith and eliminate doubt through:
- Hearing the preached Word of God (Rom. 10:14-17)
- Being taught the Word of God (Mark 6:1-6)
- Asking for God to help your unbelief (Mark 9:24)
- Prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:15-21; Jude 1:20)
- Testimonies (John 4:28-29, 39; Luke 7:2-3, 6-10)
Yes, we are real people with real emotions, but armed with the Word of God and filled with the Holy Ghost we do not have to stay bound by fear or doubt. Don’t focus on what you see or what you feel; focus on what God said and go in faith to fulfill His purpose!
How have you overcome fear and doubt? What has helped you grow in faith? If you don’t know, what are you going to put your hand to do now? Share your comments below!