January 20, 2010
Learning to Fear Not
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
Healthy fear warns us of danger and prepares us to react appropriately. However, the type of fear referred to in this verse is an unhealthy fear. It gets in the way of what our heavenly Father has already given us: His power, His love and His self-control.
Unhealthy fear overwhelms us with doubt and insecurity; it drains our spiritual life and physical strength. It steals God's peace from our hearts, and robs us of joy in our daily lives. It causes us to become stagnant; unable to move ahead with the things God has planned for us. It's important to remember that unhealthy, paralyzing, controlling fear is not from God. It is one weapon our enemy Satan uses to interrupt, discourage and destroy our relationship with our heavenly Father.
Are you struggling with unhealthy fear? In 1 Samuel 17:32, "David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him'" (NIV).
David could have cowered in the corner with an unhealthy, paralyzing fear at the thought of facing such insurmountable odds. Yet his confidence in God was so strong he actually volunteered to face the giant Philistine.
David saw his giant problem from God's perspective and knew he already possessed everything necessary to face his enemy head on (literally!). This confidence allowed him to rest in God's power and inexhaustible strength in order to defeat his enemy. Because David's reliance was not on himself, but on the One who supplies everything needed, the giant was defeated.
As we follow David's example and look at our giant problems from God's perspective, we have the same assurance that God's very presence will sustain us as we use the tools He has already provided.
For years, I battled unhealthy fear; I allowed it to interrupt my relationship with God and others. It stole peace from my heart and joy from my daily life. I now lean on the truths in Psalm 91:14-15, "'Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation'" (NIV). These verses have taught me the value of replacing fear with hope.
Friend, are you living with unhealthy fear? Are you ready to replace it with the courageous and confident hope that's found in trusting God alone? By placing our hope in God and not in our circumstances, we're able to alleviate unhealthy fear. With God, we can face any giant in our path with confidence.
Dear Lord, I praise You as my deliverer, my refuge and shield. When unhealthy fear arises, remind me of Your ever-present help that hides me in the shadow of Your mighty wings. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Moving from Fear to Freedom by Grace Fox
Visit Zoe's blog
"Fear-less" message on (CD) by Lysa TerKeurst
For extra encouragement, read No Need to Fear
What present circumstances need your courageous attention?
How can you rest in God's power as you face them?
Use BibleGateway to search for "fear not," "do not be afraid," and "have no fear" verses. Read and meditate on one verse every day this month.
Will you choose to replace your unhealthy fear with hope in Christ as you face your present circumstances?
When faced with problems, do you rely on your own strength, or the One who provides what you need to conquer your enemy?
2 Corinthians 12:9a, "But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:8, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (NIV)
John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (NIV)
© 2010 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 20 January 2010.