Fighting Fear with God's Help
Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.
—Deuteronomy 13:4 NLT
At some point in every presentation to business leaders about fear, I tell them to repeat these two sentences out loud:
“I will not fear failure. I will pursue God’s will through my talents and potential with faith, hope, energy, and optimism.”
It’s both a challenge and a commitment. It’s a challenge because no matter how much you’ve been able to manage your fear, more opportunities to manage it are always waiting for you. And it’s a commitment because when the time comes, it tells you how to respond—even though a correct response is not necessarily easy to come by. Yet reacting productively is exactly what fighting fear is all about.
Fear: A Formidable Enemy
If we walk faithfully with Christ each day, we can let go of our fears. That’s because our confidence in Him reminds us that He has our best interests in mind and is always present to make sure His best works out for us. Jesus said it this way:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow”
(Matthew 6:33–34 HCSB, author’s emphasis)
God promises to provide what we need if we seek Him, and that’s why we don’t have to worry.
The Bible tells us to “fear not” or “not be afraid” hundreds of times. So why is God so adamant about how we respond to fear? It’s because of the massive downside to letting fear win.
I’ve outlined below a list of quick facts about the danger of fear. None of it is pretty.
FEAR IS HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS.
FEAR SPREADS FASTER THAN TRUST.
FEAR MULTIPLIES RAPIDLY.
FEAR STIMULATES A VARIETY OF NEGATIVE REACTIONS. We’re
FEAR IS IMMUNE TO SHORT-TERM FIXES AND REVERSAL.
FEAR REAPPEARS QUICKLY AND INTENSIFIES.
FEAR HAS MANY UNDESIRABLE SIDE EFFECTS.
FEAR REDUCES YOUR CAPACITY TO THINK CLEARLY.\
FEAR ADDS STRESS.
FEAR ROBS YOU OF FAITH.
FEAR STEALS SELF-CONFIDENCE.
Unfortunately these are just a handful of the many downsides to fear, thankfully the Lord has given us all the tools we need to fight against it.
Fighting Fear : Strategies
Once you know who you’re fighting and have made the commitment to face your foe, you need to know how to fight. I’ve come up with a six-point strategy for battling—and winning—fear.
#1 Claim and practice truth.
We must remember what is true because our fears are often not based on truth. Our adversary will try to undercut our faith, but truth is our best weapon in fighting fear.
#2 Refuse to worry. Pray instead.
Whenever you start to worry or feel fear creeping in as you think about your circumstances, pray about it. Leave the burden at God’s feet, and you will eliminate the worry.
#3 Develop an appropriate reverence for God
When you truly walk with God, you’ll do anything to avoid disobeying Him and stepping out of His will—including moving ahead even when you’re nervous about where you’re going.
#4 Maintain a realistic view of failure.
Failure is not the end of the world. To the contrary, it often provides the path to sensational success.
#5 Get more excited about the “what could be” than you are afraid of the “what ifs.”
Any time you are confronted by fear, you are likely at a stepping point for something great. People who work with purpose take risks because they’re brimming with hope for what could happen if they succeed.
#6 Plan for success.
There is a world of difference between worrying and planning. Worry produces anxiety while planning produces tangible steps toward a goal.
With an understanding of your enemy, a willingness to face fear, and these six strategies under your belt, you’re ready to take on the fight, so don’t let fear hold you back from your calling.