From Fear to Faith with the Word of God
Why Is This Psalm Relevant to You?
We worry when fear is actively working in us. At that moment, we do not trust that God will take care of us and imagine all types of negative outcomes. In other words, we do not believe that He is faithful to His promises, even if the Word of God declares that He is faithful. Worrying therefore is lack of faith and because what is not of faith is sin, worrying is sin. It separates us from God and hinders us from receiving His help.
David’s Fearless Confession in Psalm 27:1-3
These verses show both the strength and source of David’s strength. Because he was fully convinced that the Lord was his light, his strength and his salvation, he had no reason to fear anyone or anything.
David describes his expectations:
- The wicked coming to destroy him would stumble and fall
- If an army would attack him, his heart would not fear
- If war would come against him, he would still have confidence
These are no words spoken in triumph. They are the voice of a heart that rests in the faithfulness of God.
Developing Confidence – The Righteousness Principle
In the beginning, Adam had absolutely no fear. Fear started after the Fall because he became separated from God.
“The wicked flee though no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (Proverbs_28:1)
David was a man after God’s heart. He was righteous in his relationship with God and reading 1 Samuel 17 we can see that he had experienced God’s salvation in many difficult situations. Even if these situations did not come from God, through God, he overcame them all.
He met a lion and a bear when he was looking after his father’s sheep (1 Sam 17:34-37). With God’s help, he killed them.
Through his experiences, David had learned to depend on God for direction, strength and victory and had learned to overcome fear by trusting in God.
In 1 Samuel 17, the brothers interpreted David’s attitude towards the challenge of Goliath as pride, but it was not. They could not understand David’s attitude because they did not have the same relationship with God and the same experiences.
You can develop trust in God in the same way as you develop physical strength. Exercise it when it is tested. As the apostle of faith, George Muller said, you must start exercising your faith with small needs to develop a faith capable of succeeding with big needs.
Changing Your Fear into Faith
Psalm 27 shows us how to overcome all types of fears following David’s example. Here I will focus on irrational fears.
Most people experience irrational fears in some specific situations. Consciously or unconsciously, these situations remind them of previous incidents. Even after many years, you still interpret similar situations as dangerous, and you become fearful. It does not matter if the danger is real or imaginary. It will cripple you. Your interpretation of the situation completely determines what you will experience.
Irrational fears come from expectation or potential danger and not real, present danger. They include:
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of failure
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of success
- Worries and,
- Fear of disease.
To address them, our normal reaction of fight or flight is not very effective. The general advice to overcome fear, “You go on and do what you are afraid of doing even if you are fearful,” does not apply in these cases because these fears do not relate to a specific action you are afraid of doing.
The good news is that the Word of God addresses irrational fears.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy_1:7)
The words “spirit of fear” refers specifically to our irrational reactions to perceived danger. This fear does not come from God. The enemy has used your previous experience to create a stronghold in you. However, Jesus has overcome the enemy and God has given you power, love and a sound mind to do the same. With His help, you can overcome all your irrational fears.
Because there are many types of irrational fear, I will focus on only one specific example, the fear of disease. This fear is very common and often not addressed at all. Yet, it can have many consequences on your life. Therefore, it is important to understand how to overcome it.
Further, the principles learned for handling this irrational fear is valid for all the others.
The Fear of Disease Is Universal
Today the statistics on degenerative diseases show clearly that each person is at greater risk than in the past. Further, the statistics on the effectiveness of the advertised cures leaves us with many unresolved doubts.
The situation is aggravated by the flood of psychologically designed advertising of alternative cures and supplements using fear of disease as the marketing trigger.
Consumers respond to these carefully designed advertisements by purchasing products, often without solid evidence of their effectiveness, in the hope of improving their probability of avoiding the diseases.
However, no matter what is the real effectiveness of the products, the continuous exposure to negative information in the media and the targeted advertising contribute to leaving the fear of disease practically unchanged.
Generally, younger people who had a healthy life think that they are invincible. Therefore, this type of fear may affect them less. However, they develop fear of disease, when they or someone they love falls sick with a serious illness.
The truth is that both lifestyle changes and preventive help can cut our risks but cannot fully eliminate them. Therefore, the fear remains and contributes to greater vulnerability in many ways, including a negative impact on our immune system.
The Bible’s Solution for Irrational Fear
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 5:8-11)
In 1 Peter 5:8-11 we have clear instructions about what we should do when we worry:
- Be aware and do not ignore your fear
- Do not let the enemy scare you
- Believe in God’s promises
- Oppose the enemy by standing your ground and choosing to trust in God
- Jesus has defeated the enemy and as you oppose the enemy and reject the fear, he will flee from you.
Therefore, whenever fearful thoughts come to you,
- Speak to them immediately, aloud if you can, and tell them to leave you.
- Repeat this as many times as you need.
- Be forceful. Take your stand.
- The fear will leave and you will be free, at least temporarily.
This is how you can overcome worrying and all irrational fears. The simple and effective strategy will produce almost immediate evident results physically, mentally and spiritually. As you go through this process on different occasions, it will become easier and you will become stronger.
In the next post I will continue with other principles from this psalm.