3. What is the Answer to Overcoming Fear?
A. “Fear not.” I have been told that this phrase appears 365 times in the Bible, one for every day. Now that is nice but just telling someone who is struggling with fear to simply say, “Fear not,” does not really help them. In Part One, I mentioned the story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter eventually joining him on the water. When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they were terrified. The New Living Translation records Jesus answer, “It’s all right,” he said. “I am here! Don’t be afraid.”
The Greek, however, shows Jesus saying, “I Am. Fear not.” This “I Am” is clearly referring to the God who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. When Moses asked who should he tell the people was sending, the voice from the burning bush said, “Tell them I Am is sending you.” When I begin to think about “Fear not” in the context of having the great “I Am” with me, that is something that brings me a lot of comfort. God is with me so I don’t have to be afraid.
B. Talk to God. Paul shared some great thoughts on overcoming fear and worry in his letter to the Philippians. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
There is a real power in taking our fears, worries, and concerns to God in prayer. The Psalms are full of David’s writings as he struggled with fear and worry. Several Psalms were written while he was on the run from King Saul who wanted him dead. There was a very real chance that David was going to be caught and put to death. He pours out his concerns to God. Rather than voicing our fears and worries to other people, maybe we could try talking with God about them first.
C. Take a step in the direction of your fear. One of the things that sets a good fighter apart from a mediocre one is the fact that a good fighter knows that he is going to get kicked or punched in the face and moves forward anyway. He is confident, though, in his training, preparation, and conditioning. For us to overcome our fears, we will have to take a step in the direction of what we are afraid of.
*Peter stepped out of the boat and walked towards Jesus. He had step into the storm to get to where he wanted to be.
*God told Elijah to go back in the direction that he had come. He was being told to go back to where Jezebel was. In going back, however, Elijah met Elisha who became his protege and successor. God still had work for Elijah to do but he had to face his fears first.
*What step can you take today to begin defeating fear in your life?
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