For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.~ 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
Fear is a constant struggle for me. However, battling fear is a war I must win.
I heard someone say, “What you stare at becomes bigger.” I nodded in agreement. It’s hard not to feed fear when all I see are the ways a situation can go wrong. That’s when I resort to planning and manipulating, trying to control the situation. I convince myself that it’s up to me to avoid disaster. And sometimes, I will take myself out of the scenario completely. I sit on the sidelines and watch others do life, and I ultimately miss out.
When I was in grammar school, my classmates and I regularly gathered on the playground for a game of softball. I was careful never to take a position that required expertise. To say I was a terrible player is an understatement. Sauntering to the outfield, I got out as far as possible, hoping to avoid participation. But inevitably, the ball miraculously found its way straight to me.
“Catch it! Catch it!” my teammates yelled. And just when I reached for the ball, all I could focus on was how it grew upon its approach. It’s going to hit me. Land on the top of my head. Knock me out. And leave a mountain-sized lump, I thought. And as fear overtook me, I shut my eyes and ducked out of the ball’s path.
Perhaps, just as the hand-sized softball grew in size when I rehearsed the catastrophic scenarios it could bring with it, the same is true when I focus on current problems and difficult situations surrounding me. In trying to protect myself, I’ve forgotten God is my protector. He is the One holding the entire world––and me––in His hand. So, according to God’s Word, how do we respond to fear?
Three scriptures to inspire faith instead of fear follow:
- “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV).
- “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV).
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).
It’s been many years since grammar school. I can’t help but wonder how often I’ve magnified fear so much that it stole the joy in life’s simplicity and cost me a victory lap around the field. I no longer want this. Instead, I choose to lay my fear at God’s feet and walk by faith in an almighty God who can do all things.
I don’t know what you are staring at today that has you fear-filled. What I do know is that God is in control. He holds you in His hand and will give you peace, joy, and victory.
How does seeing that Jesus is bigger than the problem you face banish fear?
Heavenly Father, sometimes it is hard to trust You to work things out for me. Thank You for reminding me that You are always in control. I choose to trust You. Fill me with peace and give me victory over fear. In Jesus’ name, amen.