Let Faith Crowd Out Fear: 5 Bible Verses for Courage & CalmFeb 14, 2023
Let your faith be bigger than your fear. Perhaps you’ve heard that phrase before, but what does that mean in a practical sense?
Even if we claim to be people who practice the idea of putting faith out front in daily life, those tentacles of fear can still snake around our strength and our attention when we are faced with illness, financial uncertainty, job stress, or troubling interpersonal situations.
And fear, after it gets its hands on us, can slowly tighten its grip until we feel light-headed and desperate—unable to breathe, concentrate, see clearly, or feel calm or joy.
Many times it isn’t easy and breezy to “let your faith be bigger than your fear,” and this is where discipline comes in. It takes discipline and practice to focus on faith when we are in the middle of a frightening situation that is wrapping itself around our windpipe and making us see stars.
But hopefully, with practice, the faith part comes into the picture earlier and earlier in times of stress, long before any situation actually has us feeling on the verge of “strangulation by fear” in the first place.
Letting your faith be bigger than your fear, in my mind, means making a conscious effort to turn our attention away from fears and toward spiritual promises when we first begin to feel under attack. And let's face it, we all feel under attack in ways both small and large throughout our lives.
Letting our faith be bigger than our fear means we wake up handing our sources of anxiety to the Lord, and we do so again in the afternoon, and again before bed. It means we get better and better at focusing on the remedy for fear rather than on the sources of the fear.
Fear is not from God, and when we focus intently on the earthly sources of our fear, we inadvertently fan the flames, and in effect we then give unhealthy attention to the unearthly evil that feeds on fear as well.
This all adds up to us feeling worse.
So, to put it simply, we must stop putting our attention on the fear. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says: “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
And again, discipline is important here. When you feel the first signs of some situation beginning to overwhelm you with fear, you must take your eyes and mind off of that situation—i.e., stop turning it over in your addled brain, stop planning how you will respond to it, stop thinking about how happy you’ll be when and if it’s resolved, etc.—and instead put your thoughts on the One who allows you to find protection, transcendence, and that spirit of power spoken of in 2nd Timothy.
If some situation has had you feeling weak and achy with fear lately—just dizzy and beside yourself thinking how you will ever survive it—then now is the time to spend more time in God’s word focusing on the very opposite of fear.
One great way to facilitate this change in focus is to get out of the office or house (something about being indoors can seem to feed worry and anxiety at times) and go to a park with your Bible, devotion book, and a notebook. Select five verses that help you to feel better and then, in your neatest handwriting or print, put those verses into your notebook. Do this slowly, so that you are forced to process the words.
Then, after you’ve written out your five verses, write a sentence or two about what those verses mean to you specifically.
Here are a few verses that I’ve focused on lately and what they have meant to me. I hope that maybe you’ll find something important in them as well.
God has not given us a spirit of fear & timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
This verse reveals the true origins of fear. It isn’t from God, but rather it is a tool used by evil to steal our hope, joy, strength, and faith. Also, this verse reminds us that it takes self-discipline to turn the focus away from fear and toward faith. Don’t expect this to be easy when you are stressed! Do it anyway!
Notes: This is a reminder to put our fears in perspective, i.e., measure them against the massive power of the Creator of all time and space. Oftentimes we build earthly situations—and/or intimidating men and women—up into supernatural villains in our minds; we give them power they don’t have by doing this. If we want to take power away from our fears, we must measure them side by side against our all-powerful God. Then, they no longer seem so intimidating.
Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Lord Himself will fight for you. Exodus 14:13-14
These verses are especially comforting when we are feeling too weak, confused, or over-matched to fight for ourselves. These verses paint a great visual for us to turn to when our knees are absolutely trembling in some situation in which we don’t necessarily have a lot of control. These verses say to not be afraid in such situations. They say we don't need control! They say the Lord will handle it; they say to watch the Lord rescue us.
Notes: Fear enslaves. This enslavement is its great and horrifying power, and this is exactly why fear is so dangerous. It enslaves our minds, taking away our ability to concentrate. It enslaves our bodies, sapping our strength and leaving us feeble. It enslaves our imagination, leaving us unable to see solutions. It enslaves our hearts, leaving us unable to feel joy. And it enslaves our souls, leaving us without hope. But the Lord emancipates us from this slavery. He sets us free. All we have to do is ask. Don’t allow fear to enslave you. Instead, allow God to free you. This is what He does.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when the earthquakes come, and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Psalm 46:1-3
God is at the ready, able and willing to assist in times of disaster, stress, and dangerous surprise. We can take refuge in His presence and power during those times when it seems as if the world is ending around us. He is in control, and He offers protection for every situation.
Fear is a normal part of the human experience, but allowing fear to become all consuming is simply not an option if we want to enjoy wellness and grow in faith.
Today, no matter what situation might be bringing fear to your doorstep, make a conscious effort to surround yourself with more faith than fear. Put faith in front of your eyes, in your mind, and into your ears. Let verses like the above soak into your attention, nurturing the soul. As Jesus said, you can then find calm for the “troubled heart.”
And if you’re still feeling afraid, then repeat the whole exercise of focusing on verses that give you courage and calm. And pray about the fear, hand it over to God. This is how you make your faith bigger than your fear—with conscious effort—and when you do this, you can then experience a peace that makes no sense in this world. A peace that “the world can’t give.” A peace that is bigger than earthly fears.
Practice making your faith bigger than your fears today and every day, and you will feel the benefits.
Take care until next time,
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