Not too long ago, I bought myself one of those graphic tees that read “Faith over Fear.” And I wore it not only because I liked the design, but the message spoke to me. At the time, fear had crept into my life and it had become the enemy holding me captive. I was abandoning God’s next plans for my life because I was stuck in fear. Yes, that was right, fear ruined everything.
I was determined to win this battle and I figured out how to do it. I planned to block those thoughts of fear from my mind at all costs. And then, eventually my faith would surface and the absence of fear would allow me to move forward in my plans Jesus had crafted for me.
I tried it. I really did. When fear crept in, I ignored it. When it knocked louder, I turned away. I was surprisingly good at redirecting those thoughts when they showed up uninvited. There were times I felt particularly confident in my accomplishments and even giggled in my head, saying “that’s right Satan, fear doesn’t live here.” Thoughts of fear were less and less.
As time went on, the absence of fear felt freeing. But to my surprise, I felt no more brave to move forward with my journey than I did before. Although I ignored the fear I didn’t use the process to build my self-confidence or conquer my concerns. You see, I no longer had fear – but I also didn’t have faith.
As uncomfortable as it is, fear has a place in our journey with Christ. You see, fear is an opportunity to seek out faith. It’s a launching pad, an invitation, to seek Jesus for help to overcome that fear. By waiting for my fear to disappear, I had conquered nothing. Our fear is a natural part of life. But it’s combination, ridding ourselves of fear while simultaneously cultivating our faith is what Jesus designed us to use fear for. As a result of our confidence in Him, He delights in seeing our fear let-up.
Trust me when I say, this conversation for me is not over. Fear often rules my life. In the small decisions and the big ones. I’m not much of a risk taker by nature, and my tendency to embrace fear is natural for me. But I am committed to taking fear and using it to demonstrate my faith in a God who has never failed me. I will see fear as it comes and seek God to show me what opportunity awaits. When great anxiety is within me, I will not ignore it – but rather identify it and call to Jesus to see what’s next. Join me in that journey.
Relevant Scripture: “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19
Jesus, I understand fear is part of this world. And it can be healthy as long as it’s not debilitating. Help me to conquer fear when it presents itself in my life by bringing it to you. Together, let’s take my fear and grow my faith. Amen.