When we were expecting our second child, Dave and I shared an apartment with a couple of mice who were also expecting. Within a few weeks, we trapped seventeen baby mice—and I was terrified because I never knew what they were doing or when they’d appear!
One day I found a mouse in our bathtub.
Now just try and visualize this: I’m seven months pregnant, standing on a toilet seat with a plunger in my hand, trying to get that mouse! I eventually trapped him under the plunger. And as if that wasn’t enough, I tied the bathroom door shut, climbed onto the kitchen table, and waited there until Dave got home from work.
Turns out that tiny mouse was only a few days old; there was absolutely nothing for me to be afraid of! It just goes to show you how foolish we can be when we let our fears control us.
There is nothing wrong with feeling fear. It’s something we all experience in life. But God wants us to help us learn to confront our fears and conquer them one by one.
His Word reassures us: Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you…yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. (Isaiah 41:10). That’s an amazing promise from God!
Fear actually means “to take flight” or “to run from.” And I believe it is the number one weapon Satan uses to keep us from pursuing our God-given destinies.
So if you have a story like mine… If you’ve ever let fear get the best of you, I want to encourage you that you can become a bold, courageous Christian who does not back down from doing whatever God has called you to do!
It begins with knowing who you are in Christ.
Knowing that we are in right standing with God is essential to walking in faith, believing His Word more than you believe what you think or feel, no matter what your circumstances look like. You see, when you are afraid that God doesn’t love you or you’re afraid He’s going to get mad at you if you make a mistake, you aren’t likely to take many risks in life. You might reach out to God in an emergency, but what God really wants is for you is to learn how to live by faith every moment of every day.
God has the power to do absolutely jaw-dropping amazing things in our lives! He wants us to fulfill the purpose and plan He has for us, and we have the help of the Holy Spirit to do it. But we need to keep moving forward, trusting God to help us.
Actually, the main reason the Bible says, “fear not” is because God is with us!
I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me… (Psalm 23:4). The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6). The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]… (Hebrews 13:6).
Each time you feel afraid, I encourage you to simply say, “God is with me in this; I’m never alone” until that truth becomes deeply rooted within you. And the more your faith builds, the more courageous you’re going to be!
Remember, God doesn’t love you based on what you do. He loves you completely, because He is love—it’s all He knows how to do!
When fear knocks on your door, send faith to answer.
Mark 4 gives an account of a terrible storm. Jesus was in a boat with His disciples at the time because He’d said to them, Let us go over to the other side of the lake (Mark 4:35). And then the storm hit. The wind and waves were tossing their boat around, but Jesus was sound asleep! And His disciples were trying desperately to wake Him because they were afraid they weren’t going to survive.
Here’s the part I love: Mark 5:1 says, They came to the other side of the sea….
In other words, when Jesus says we’re going somewhere, then we’re going somewhere! We might feel like we’re being tossed around by our troubles, wondering: God, where are You? Why aren’t You helping me? But He is with you, and you can remain peaceful and stable through every storm. That’s what faith looks like.
The best way to deal with the fears that come against you is to call on God for help, and then exercise your faith. Say, “God is with me. This storm is not going to last. And I’m going to make it to the other side.”
Let’s quickly look at how Jesus helped His disciples.
Mark 4:39 says, He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea…And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness).
The fact is, you don’t ever have to be afraid. You are free to push past your fears and pursue every dream God has given you, because He is with you. And while He is working out the details of your journey, you might as well enter His rest.
We do not need to strive for power or hope to have power someday; we have power now! The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (see Rom. 8:11) and we can be quickened (filled with life) by that power. This is not a onetime filling that slowly drains out of us as the days go by, but we can be filled day by day and even moment by moment. We can constantly and continually experience God’s presence and power in our lives. When we belong to Him, there is never a time when His power is not accessible to us.