Today, there seems to be an increase in stress, anger and uncertainty in our world. Much of this can be attributed to health problems, terrorism, high unemployment rates and a financial crisis; most notably in the housing market. When we’re faced with adversity it’s easy to fall into that dreadful thing called fear. But in difficult times, is this what God had intended for us? Fear? Or is there something else God wants us to turn to? There is… faith!
On a daily basis, every child of God makes a very important choice. Will they live in faith or fear? Fear is something that does not discriminate. Man or woman, child or adult. At some point in our lives, we all have to come face to face with it, and Christians are no exceptions. But why should we fear fear? Fear is a thief! It is a spirit that God did not give to us. It starts out by stealing God’s peace from our hearts. And, if we let it paralyze us from action, it can rob us of our true destinies in Christ. However, we should not be surprised. The Bible says: “we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT). As a Christian, fear should be your enemy.
Our Bible says: “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). Many Christians have mastered the first half of that verse. We believe that God does exist. However, it is the second half where we fall short. We must believe that He rewards those that seek Him with their whole heart. That is a part of faith and, without it, we are not fully pleasing our Lord. As Christians, when we realize we are afraid, we must stop and ask ourselves an important question. At that very moment, do we listen to God or Satan? God says He will reward you for your desire to seek and obey Him. He says He’s counted the very hairs on your head, and that He alone is your Provider and Protector. Satan says, you are unworthy of God’s rewards. He says that God must be using His wrath to teach and train you. Satan often whispers to you that the details of your life are too trivial for God to be bothered with and you must ultimately fend for yourself. There are times in our lives when we feel these things to be true.
Fear can sneak up on you when you least expect it, and once it has you, it can be hard to get free. Many Christians don’t realize it, but faith and fear are very similar in nature.
Both faith and fear are an unshakable belief in an unseen future. Neither is merely emotional, but both are spiritual forces. The only difference between the two is that one believes God will come through for you; the other believes He won’t.
God says that He has not given you the spirit of fear, but He has given you love, power, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). They are your most powerful weapons in your battle for freedom as you master controlling emotions of fear, doubt, and worry.
How do you begin controlling emotions and thoughts? This comes from discipline. The more that you discipline yourself to meditate on God’s Word, the easier it will become to reject thoughts that don’t line up with it. And, that’s what fears are; thoughts that do not line up with God’s promises to you. Fear says God will not help you this time. Fear says your children won’t come back to the Lord. Fear says that your finances will never improve. Fear says that your marriage is ruined. Fear says the opposite of what God says.
There are five steps to controlling fear. 1. Recognize the fearful thought as a threat. 2. Think of God’s promise for that situation (if you don’t know what it is, find out!) 3. Pray and tell God your concern. 4. Praise God for His promise to provide your needs. 5. Refuse to worry about it any more. If it comes to your mind again, confess that you have given it over to your heavenly Father in prayer. Then begin praising God that He heard your prayers and that the prayers of the righteous avails much (James 5:16).
No matter what situation or problem you’re faced with, you need to know that faith in God overcomes the fear of this world. However, it must be complete faith. You can’t believe Christ is your healer and then fear you’ll die of cancer. You can’t believe God is your provider, and then fear you’ll go bankrupt. That is being double-minded. As I’ve said before, fear is a spirit. It is a sign of a spiritual attack from your enemy, the devil. However, knowing this should not bring on more fear. God’s power is living inside of you, and He has given you the power to stand against the enemy’s attacks. This power is used through faith.
Pastor Ryan Black
Cedar Springs Christian Church
340 West Pine Street, Cedar Springs