Overcoming Fear With Faith
When I was a kid, I had one of those really cool books with buttons that made noises. As you read the book, there would be symbols prompting you to hit buttons that made corresponding sounds. Like I said, it was really cool. The sound effects made the story come alive!
But the problem was that my book was based on 101 Dalmatians.
And one of the buttons produced the cackle of the infamous Cruella de Vil.
I was terrified of Cruella de Vil.
At some point, my childhood imagination grew so intense that I refused to sleep with the book in the house. My dad had to take it out to the garage...and I made him promise that we would never own a dalmatian.
I can look back at this anecdote and chuckle - I was scared of a book. That’s ridiculous. But let’s think about this for a minute. I was scared, not really of the book, but of the feelings that were conjured up by the book...feelings of vulnerability. I would just think about those helpless little puppies, ripped from their home. Plunged into a world where someone (Cruella de Vil) wanted to steal their fur and turn them into a coat! As a child, all of that was overwhelming. The idea of someone breaking into my house, ripping me from it, and then turning me into a coat. It’s a lot to handle.
As adults, we’re all the same way. We allow our feelings of vulnerability (real or imagined) to take over. We begin to act out of that fear, rather than our faith. How many times have you said “no” because you were afraid that you would make a mistake? And from that mistake, everyone else would be able to spot your weaknesses?
How many times have you had a vice grip on your circumstances because you were afraid of what might unfold if you just let things happen?
These questions remind me of Psalm 13:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.
Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
Lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. -(vs. 1-4)
When our fears take over, it’s easy to get wrapped up in these questions. But it doesn’t stop there. Look at the rest of that psalm:
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me. -(vs. 5-6)
Despite all of the problems that he saw in his life, David knew that his God was good. How can we have that sort of faith in the face of our fears?
Trust in His steadfast love
When you are confident of the Lord’s steadfast love, you can go boldly into any situation without fear of vulnerability. He will hold you safely in the palm of His hand and He won’t let go of you for anything. He has your back...when you’re speaking your truth, when you’re taking a risk, when you’re meeting new people...He’s got you. And nothing you you do will make Him stop loving you.
Rejoice in your salvation
Remember whose you are! By His grace, you are saved and nothing can take that away. If you are confident in your salvation, the world’s expectations and rules will have less power over your life. Knowing that you are His means that you don’t have to worry about being rejected by the world because you know that He will always want you.
Sing to the Lord
Say it loud and say it proud! Say it with friends over coffee or say it in your bedroom as you’re trying to drag yourself out of sleep in the morning. The more you proclaim all the Lord has done, the easier it will be to walk with faith rather than fear.
The psalms are full of David’s questions and fears...but for every fear that he puts forth, he follows it up with a declaration of God’s goodness. I would encourage you to read Psalms...maybe find one that touches your heart for where you are right now.
Additional Resource: Matthew Henry Commentary on Psalm 13
(Scriptures from English Standard Version, 2016)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hey Friends! I'm Mary Elizabeth. I currently do life in Nashville, TN. Two years for grad school has turned into five and a half! I currently work for a faith-based nonprofit as an after-school program coordinator...and wearer of many other hats (video producing, QuickBooks battling, volunteer recruiting, MailChimp building...). It keeps me on my toes and forces me to trust God on a daily basis. I'm still trying to figure out the work-life balance...but what I have learned is that baking and hiking do wonders for my heart. I also recently took up crochet!