Fear is something that most of us consider to be a normal part of being human. It’s a natural emotion, one that we often can’t control. From birth, we instinctively feel fear in various situations. Yet, most of us also know that fear can be unhealthy and that some fears need to be dealt with head-on. Take, for example, a young child who’s afraid to go to school for the first time. It’s only natural for that child to be nervous or afraid, but at some point, they will need to face that fear in order to learn and grow. So how do we fight fear? And how do we know which fears are good for us and which fears will harm us in the long run?
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Here’s the truth: The only fear that is good for us is the fear of God. Fear may be a natural human instinct or emotion, but it does not come from Him. In fact, the Bible tells us to not be afraid over 300 times!
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? – Psalm 56:3-4
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
The Bible is clear… fear is not something that should mark the life of a Believer. While it is something that humans face on a daily basis, we are no longer driven by the “flesh.” We are driven by the power of the Holy Spirit living within us. We are a new creation. Our old selves lived in fear, but our new selves have nothing to be afraid of… not even death itself.
So if this is all true, why do Christians still feel like fear is a “normal” emotion? It may be normal apart from Christ, but it is certainly not “normal” for someone who has been transformed by the Holy Spirit.
If you still find yourself struggling with fear, here are 3 ways to fight fear once and for all…
- Identify the REAL enemy and the REAL fight… Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians that our battle is not against flesh and blood. In other words, our battle is a spiritual one. It is fought on our knees in prayer. Often when we’re struggling with fear, we try to find ways to face the thing that scares us. (For example: If you’re scared of public speaking, you may try to face your fear by signing up for a public speaking class.) This is how the world fights fear… but we have the power to fight fear in prayer. And trust me when I say that this is much more effective!
- Remember your new identity in Christ… Do you know who you are? The enemy certainly does. You are a child of God who has been given power and authority in the Holy Spirit. You have powerful weapons at your disposal to tear down strongholds and fight fear and other lies of the enemy. Never forget who God created you to be when you were born again! (And don’t forget Who you have living within you as well!)
- Remind the enemy of what’s already been done… When you think of common fears, what comes to mind? Death? Sickness? Failure? Public speaking? Truth be told, Jesus took care of every single one of these fears on the cross. In Him, we inherit eternal life, and we are healed. Victory belongs to us, and the Bible tells us that we are given boldness and words to speak through the power of the Holy Spirit. We truly have nothing to fear when we are in Christ!
When you are needing to fight fear in your life, never forget who you are in Christ… because in Him, you truly have nothing to fear!
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*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
**Photo by Ben White at ChristianPics.co