It seems our natural instincts have a bent towards fear. As children we are often fearful of many things: loud noises like thunder, the roar of airplane engines overhead, the increasing and decreasing sound of a jet flying over, flashes of lightening, the dark, the smell of a fire, the sight of something horrible, even bugs, worms, spiders, snakes. These are all assaults on our senses, our hearing, seeing smelling, our sensory perceptions.
Sometimes these fears will leave after someone explains to us what they are and sometimes they carry over, for years and years, into our adult life, plaguing us to no end. But if we never had an explanation or refuse to accept the explanation given to us, the fear will grow and as we get older we see new fears to worry about: the economy, the state of the nation, wars, etc. It’s interesting to watch Survivor, a program on TV, if you can overcome your fears in watching it, for it seems to be a test in overcoming obstacles or rather the fear of those obstacles. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.”
What is fear and where does it originate?
Fear is a reaction to the unknown, processed in the darkroom of our mind. We see, hear, smell, sense something and our mind will begin to process what it is and make a decision to either eliminate the fear of it or to imagine all sorts of bad things. Fears can so overtake us, to the point that the it becomes larger than life and can be obsessive and abnormal. Fear is like a seed, a thought, planted into our mind and we can either water it so that it grows into something bigger than what it actually is or we can squirt it with some weed killer so that it dies out.
Faith is the weed killer. (Mark 4:40)
How does faith kill fear?
Matthew 17:20 says fear is unbelief or having no belief
Matthew 21:21 says fear is doubt
Fear, doubt and unbelief in God and his ability to care and take care of us, leaves us at the mercy of the elements, and they don’t have mercy. Only God has mercy. God did not make us like the Energizer Bunny: winding us up and setting us out on our own to fend for ourselves. The opposite is true: He wants to be our Heavenly Father, taking care of all concerns and fears, and when we know God is on our side taking care of us, then, we can put all our fears into His hands in exchange for the peace he has to offer. What a deal!
What are we to have faith in?
We are to “Have faith in God .” (Mark 11: 22, 24)
Jesus would say, in his attempt to get the people to see how little faith they had in him, “O ye of little faith” and in Matthew 17:17, he says that when we are faithless it is the same as being perverse. The meaning of perverse is to distort, to turn aside from the right path, to oppose the plans of God.
“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Faith doesn’t just happen.
Faith is a choice we make. The choice to believe that what God has said is true. It is a choice to not be fearful, a choice to have faith and believe in a God who promises to take care of us, even if we are a grown man or woman. “We are his people, the sheep of his pasture” Psalm 112
When we feel that old fear creeping into our mind, we need to switch our thinking over to the Lord and his many promises and sayings in the Bible, after all, the people of God have been given dominion to rule over all the creeps of the earth. (Genesis 1:26) Don’t allow the devil to steal, through fear, any more of your life.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:7,8
How much faith do we need to overcome our fears?
We only need a very small amount faith.
“for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation (to fear): for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." James 1:12
“He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Rev 21:7
Make a decision, today, to not let fear stop you in your tracks or keep you from living life to the fullest. Overcome fear with faith. Take your fear to the Lord, having faith in him and trusting him to show you a promise in His Word to counter the fear.
A great chapter about other people's faith is chapter 11 in Hebrews. Read about the people that chapter makes reference to and see how their faith helped them to enter into the “Hall of Faith”.