You know that feeling. The pit in your stomach, pounding of your heart, and rush of your thoughts as you go from just the possibility of a job loss to being homeless on the streets all in a matter of seconds. Gripped by fear, although an imagined one. As I heard Jill Briscoe once say, “Women are a fear-driven, performance-oriented species.” Just catching the news during a day reminds me just how much fear is an ever-present emotion with me and with most women—real fears as well as imagined ones. Is it realistic to think we can live without fear? No! God knows this about us. When we are afraid, He wants us to trust Him. In this post, I will share with you why God is BIGGER than your fears. You can trust Him.
The Gift of Fear
As crazy as it sounds, we need to think of fear as a gift. Have you ever thought of fear as a gift? Stick with me.
Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so that we will take action against it. It has a purpose. Take for example the initial response to the coronavirus pandemic. Fear of the virus affecting ourselves and our loved ones spurred us to action. We repeatedly scrubbed our hands, sprayed doorknobs and light switches with Lysol, wore gloves to go to the grocery store, wiped down every item brought into our house, and disinfected even our mail. This was a proactive response to something dangerous. Some good things eventually came out of our experience.
The dark side of fear
But we know fear has a dark side as well. Just reading the daily Facebook feed can panic us. We can be fear-driven. But what does fear drive us to do? Usually, nothing good. Am I right?
Fear can take root in us and cause us to give way to panic and hysteria. Are you prone to that? When we look at life just with our own eyes, we become fearful, pessimistic, and immobile (holding back, unable to move forward). We think to ourselves, “Nothing is going to work. I don’t know if I can get through this.”
What God wants us to do when we are afraid
I can remember times in my life when something happened suddenly that caused that creepy-crawly feeling down my back. A car cutting in front of me sending me to change lanes quickly, hoping there was not an 18-wheeler occupying that lane.
One night, a feeling of fear my oldest daughter’s safety hit me in the chest. I quickly prayed for her protection. Of course, she did not answer her phone when I called so I had to wait until the next morning to hear from her that she was okay. What. A. Scary. Night.
Thankfully, some wise mentors have taught me to trust God all the time, especially when I am afraid. One such wise woman named Vickie Kraft drilled a couple of verses into my heart and mind. These are God’s answer to my fears—the action He wants us to take.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)
What Vickie taught me is this, “Melanie, the psalmist doesn’t say, ‘If I am afraid.’ He says, ‘When I am afraid.’ When we are afraid, God wants us to trust Him and not give way to fear.”
If fear alerts us to danger so we will take action against it, the most significant action is to not give into fear but to trust God instead. That is the walk from fear to faith. And we can experience God’s faithfulness through any trouble, danger, suffering, or pain that we face. Through this trust, we can experience assurance, calmness, confidence, joy, and courage.
God is bigger than your fears
Through following Jesus for many years, I know that our God will not rescue me from everything that is threatening me or my family. The threat of terrorists, inflation, and infectious diseases will not go away with wishful thinking. How do we learn to not give into fear? The answer is to stand firmly on 4 consistent truths so that we can overcome fear.
- Truth #1: God loves you.
- Truth #2: God knows what is going on in your life.
- Truth #3: God can do something about it.
- Truth #4: You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do.
For now, let us focus on God’s faithfulness to those who know Him and love Him. Our big God is bigger than your fears.
God is as faithful now in our everyday circumstances of life as He was years ago to some Old Testament women who are examples to us of walking from fear to faith. When we look at the Bible and see how God helped everyday people like you and I, the Holy Spirit uses that to strengthen us so that we can face trouble with courage that we didn’t know we had. And get His peace in the process.
From Sarah—God is bigger than your weaknesses
Weaknesses usually surface when something goes wrong, when things are not happening the way you planned or imagined. Maybe you look at your life and only see weakness. You may feel helpless as a victim of circumstances. You may consistently dwell on your mistakes, replaying them in your mind. You may focus on your inadequacies, not being enough of…whatever. And sadly, other people like to point out all those weaknesses in your life, too. That makes you feel even worse about them. Have you experienced that?
In the book of Genesis, you can read about Sarah, Abraham’s wife and the mother of all Jewish people. She was a woman just like we are. Sarah was faced with overwhelming circumstances, mistakes, and inadequacies. Yet, she learned that God has bigger purposes for our weaknesses than what we can see or know each step of the way. It does not matter if your fear is driven by circumstances you cannot fix, stems from making mistakes, or is caused by feelings of inadequacy. God is bigger than your weaknesses. He asks you to trust Him and His purpose when you do not understand.
We have a big God. He can take whatever is looking ugly in our lives and make it something praiseworthy. Maybe all that you have been through in life—desperate circumstances, blaring mistakes, and obvious inadequacies—have led to this moment when God has brought you to read this post so you can trust in Him. God is bigger than your weaknesses. He could be showing you that today on your walk from fear to faith.
You can read more about how God was bigger than all of Sarah’s weaknesses.
From Miriam—God is bigger than your enemies
Miriam experienced that amazing exit from Egypt along with more than 2 million others. But they soon approached the Red Sea and felt trapped. The people looked up and saw the Egyptian army approaching fast after them. And, they were terrified! So, they cried out to the Lord in panic and hysteria. Moses told the people to not be afraid, to stand firm, to be still and watch the Lord fight for them. And God went to work.
As a pillar of cloud and fire, God put Himself between the people and the Egyptian army, keeping His people safe. God caused a wind to blow all night, dividing the water into two walls and drying up the sea floor between them. The next day the Israelites took their walk from fear to faith as they tramped to the other shore. When all His people were safe, God caused the water to flow back on the Egyptian army. The Lord fought for them. They needed only to stop being terrified and to trust Him. Moses led the trembling people (including Miriam) to apply faith to their fear. They confronted it and turned it over to God, at least for that moment. Their faithful God took over and proved that He was stronger than their enemies. God is bigger than your enemies, too.
You can read more about this from Gracia Burnham’s experience in my post, “What’s Left When Our Props Are Removed.”
From Rahab—God is bigger than your times of waiting
You will probably never be faced with the dramatic circumstances of Rahab, but you will have your own distressing situations in life. Rahab had to wait patiently for God to act. Remember that she did not know the “marching” orders that Joshua knew (Joshua 6:1-25).
Most of us don’t like to wait for God to work. We say to each other, “God is good all the time,” but do we really believe that when we have to wait? Times of waiting strengthen your relationship with Him as you learn to rely on His timing and trust in His goodness. We have to learn to trust God’s goodness in addressing our pain. That often includes waiting for Him to work in the background of life. We cannot see it yet, but one day we will see what He has been doing. God is bigger than your times of waiting.
From Two Widows—God is bigger than your needs
We often overlook what God has already provided for us and concentrate instead on what we do not have. When you receive God’s provision, you learn that He is creative and personal. In the Old Testament, God used what two widows already had as a resource to multiply on their behalf.
For the widow of 1 Kings 17:7-16, she had endless pancakes but only enough for today with a promise for tomorrow. There was no 50 lb. sack of flour in her pantry. She had to trust that it would be refilled for the next day’s meals. She lacked nothing. For another widow in 1 Kings 4:1-8, she had a bottomless pot of oil, enough for today and to plan for her future. She lacked nothing.
Most of the time, God’s provision is going to come through people, not miraculously appear from the sky. People design products and services to sell. They take the risk to start businesses and hire workers, including you. People buy farmers’ crops. And, people provide meals for someone in a time of need. You must learn to trust whatever manner God chooses to meet your needs. God is bigger than your needs.
Trust God with whatever you are facing
There may be a problem in your life right now where you need to choose to do right, but you are afraid of the possible consequences. Will you choose to trust God with whatever you are facing and walk from fear to faith?
The Walk from Fear to Faith Bible Study (read online)
The Walk from Fear to Faith Bible Study (download pdf)