We can learn a lot of things from our experience with the novel coronavirus and how it has affected our lives. We can learn the value of considering others as more important than ourselves as we choose to let self-sacrifice win over self-centeredness. We can learn how to be creative during our “shelter in place” time. We are learning how to love our neighbors from six feet awaywhenever we are able to do so. We've repeatedly scrubbed our hands, sprayed doorknobs and light switches with Lysol, worn gloves to go to the grocery store and wiped down every item brought into our house, and disinfected even our mail. And, we can learn that we need to overcome our tendency toward fear by standing firm on truth.
I heard Jill Briscoe once say, “Women are a fear-driven, performance-oriented species.” She’s right. Fear is an ever-present emotion with us. Real fears and imagined fears. Is it realistic to think we can live without fear? No!
Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so that we will take action against it. Yet, fear can take root in us and cause us to give way to panic and hysteria. God knows this about us. I am so grateful for that! Fear will happen. We can let fear take root in us so that we give way to panic and hysteria. Are you prone to that? He doesn’t want us to stay there, disoriented and hopeless. He gives us the answer—Himself! This is the action He wants us to take.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)
When we are afraid, God wants us to trust Him and not give way to fear. Learning to do that is our walk from fear to faith.
Here are 4 consistent truths that we can embrace and apply to our lives today on our WALK FROM FEAR TO FAITH.
Truth #1: God loves you.
John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus, so you could believe in Him and receive eternal life. You are part of that world that God loves. And, once you accept His gift of eternal life through your faith in His Son, you get even more of God’s love for you.
Paul wrote in Romans 5:5 that God pours out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. As a believer in Jesus, the Father Himself loves you. He pours out His love into your heart so you can experience that love. You can count on Truth #1 — God loves you.
Truth #2: God knows what is going on in your life
Jesus knew that His followers were stressing about food, clothing and shelter. Those essentials for daily life. So He told them in Matthew 6, “…do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the [unbelievers] run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:31-32)
In Psalm 139, David describes how God is everywhere and knows everything about him. And, that is true for you. God knows what is going on in your life. And in my life. If He doesn’t, then He isn’t really God. He knows your needs and how best to meet those needs. You can count on Truth #2 — God knows what is going on in your life.
Truth #3: God can do something about it
“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14) That’s what the angel of the Lord asks Sarah in Genesis 18. Since the angel lives in heaven with God, he should know. So, is anything impossible for the Lord? The answer is, NO! Another angel declared the same thing to Mary in Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God.”
Both of these statements are made to women. We need that assurance, don’t we? Our God is all-powerful. He is capable of doing anything He chooses to do that is in agreement with His character and His purposes. We can count on Truth #3 — God can do something about IT. Whatever IT is.
Truth #4: You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do
This is the sticky part, isn’t it? Can I believe that God is always good? And, I can think of a zillion ways that He can be "good to me" that don't include bad things The Bible says that God is good, and what He does is good. (Psalm 119:68)
Here’s some wisdom from Proverbs, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” (Proverbs 3:5) It’s a choice to trust God and bank on His goodness. So, here’s Truth #4 — You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do!
A biblical example
One of the best biblical examples of these four truths in action comes from John 11. Martha informed Jesus that her brother Lazarus was sick.
• Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus (John 11:5).
• Jesus knew what was going on in Martha’s life—Lazarus died (verses 6, 11, 14).
• Jesus could do something about it—He had healed from a distance (John 4:50-53).
• But, Jesus chose to do something different, even better than what anyone could imagine though it caused pain and suffering to those He loved and a lot of waiting, too (John 11:14-15).
After 4 days of being dead, Lazarus was brought back to life, and good things happened. God’s goodness showed up—Lazarus had his life restored, his sisters saw their now healthy brother returned to them, the disciples witnessed an amazing work of God, and many people now believed in Jesus who had not yet believed in Him. Martha could now say to herself with assurance, “God loves me. God knows what is going on in my life. God can do something about it. I can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do.” And so can you in any situation.
Apply faith to your fear
Whenever you are afraid, follow this process to apply faith to your fear.
1. Confront it:What fears do you have right now? Think about them. The worst ones, the real ones, and the imaginary ones.
2. Ask about each one: What is my worst-case scenario? Consider just one of those fears. What is the worst that could happen? Think realistically.
3. Consider: If the worst I can imagine happens, could I handle it through the presence and power of Jesus Christ? As a believer, you have the power of the One who created the Universe living inside of you. Can He help me get through anything? Yes!
4. Remember the four truths I shared above by saying them to yourself:
• God loves me.
• God knows what is going on in my life.
• God can do something about it.
• I can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do.
5. Pray: Prayer is simply talking to God about anything and everything. Thank the Lord for His presence and His goodness. Ask Him for the courage and peace to ride out the storm. Where the Bible is clear, you can claim God’s promises by faith. Anytime, you can ask for deliverance and protection—but you cannot hold God to promises He hasn’t made. He hasn’t promised immunity from natural calamities, illness, and troubles.
6. Live life securely in Him: Take common sense precautions. Be wise in the world. Trust God to show you what to do and give you strength when you are weak.
Dear friends, God may not choose to rescue you from everything that is threatening you. But, in any and all situations, you can choose to apply faith to any fear!
Learn more about walking from fear to faith through these Bible Studies: