Fear is an enemy that stalks us all. This opponent of faith limits horizons, causes depression and robs its victims of the joy of living. Here are five faith builders to enable us to overcome fear every day, even in — especially in — these frightening days.
1. God loves us
Fears defeat us when despair leads us to conclude that some areas of life lie outside the circle of God’s love. This kind of thinking limits expectations of His care.
God’s love is unchanging in all circumstances.
A farmer once had “God is Love” placed on the weathervane on the roof of his barn. When asked why he had done so, he replied it was to remind him that God is love no matter which way the wind is blowing.
A woman who had endured a long period of excruciating pain told me she had been able to stay on top during her suffering by remembering the sufferings of Jesus on the cross. This made her confident of God’s love in spite of her pain.
2. The future is arriving one day at a time
C.S. Lewis wrote the following to a woman overcome by fear: “The great thing with unhappy times is to take them bit by bit, hour by hour, like an illness. It is seldom the present, the exact present that is unbearable. The great thing as you have obviously seen (both as regards pain and financial worries) is to live from day to day and hour to hour not adding the past or the future to the present.”
How many things have you worried about that did not happen?
Most things that make us fear and fret … are those that haven’t happened yet.
“You must take one day at a time,” I advised a grieving widow.
“I’m down to forty-five seconds at a time,” she replied. And her moment by moment faith brought her peace.
3. Tomorrow is uncertain
“You do not know what will happen tomorrow.” (James 4:14) So make tomorrow’s uncertainties work for you. Since you cannot be absolutely sure your fears will be realized, refuse to be intimidated by them.
God has promised strength to those who trust Him for whatever happens … but not for the many things we imagine may happen.
Things may turn out better than you think.
4. Take care of your body
Overwork, lack of sleep and improper diet can cause emotional problems. No amount of counseling will enable you to conquer your fears if you neglect your health.
Consider the importance of our bodies to God.
All of creation, except the human body, was simply spoken into existence by our Creator: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)
The promise of resurrection also proves our Lord’s concern for our bodies. But we must care for them also … and proper diet and health habits are vital for overcoming fear.
5. All trials are temporary
This too shall pass. Whatever the trial, faith insists: “The best is yet to come!”
Roger Campbell was an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. An anthology containing over one hundred of his best columns, “Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree,” is now available at your local or online book-seller.