How Fear Can Move You to Trust in the Lord
Fear is one of the biggest emotions that holds us back in life. Maybe fear causes you to stay in your comfort zone and not take a leap of faith. Maybe fear holds you back from pursuing your God-given dreams. Maybe fear keeps you from sharing the gospel.
What’s encouraging is that fear and doubt can lead to more faith.
But how do you move from being afraid to being faithful? Below are three ways to move from fear to faith.
1. Faith Diminishes Fear
Most often you don't have two emotions simultaneously. For example, it's hard to be both fearful and happy at the same time. In 1 John 4:18 it says that perfect love casts out all fear. When we are focused on the Lord and are filled with the joy of His presence, fear diminishes.
Fear could also be a result of too much trust in our own strength and not enough trust in the Lord. A spirit of fear is not from God. In 2nd Timothy 1:7 states that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.
2. Doubt Leads to the Truth
So often I think we label doubt as a negative emotion, but doubt is not bad in and of itself. There is nothing wrong with questioning; in fact, questioning is good. What matters is where that doubt and questioning leads you. There is nothing wrong with doubt when it leads you to the truth.
Many characters in the Bible questioned God when they didn’t understand their situation. When reading the gospels, we see that the disciples ask Jesus questions all the time when they didn’t understand his teaching or agree with his actions.
If you are especially struggling with doubt, it’s okay to ask God for more faith. In Luke 17, the disciples ask for more faith. In Mark 9, a father whose son needed healing from an impure spirit cried out to God for help with the unbelief he had.
3. Focus on Obedience Over Control
How do you trust in God’s will for your life? We can rest knowing that God’s will, though completely perfect, is not always a black-and-white thing that we humans have to decipher. It’s not a series of right choices you have to make and if you choose wrong, you will miss out on all the good God has in store for your life. In Kevin DeYoung’s book Just Do Something he explains that instead of asking “am I choosing the right college, career, or town to move to?” The more important question is “am I loving God with all my heart, mind, and soul?” Instead of asking if we are living in God’s will, we should be asking ourselves if we are obeying His commandments.
Trusting in God with our lives could also be a control issue. Instead of asking for God to show us the future, why not just be confident that He holds the future? You don’t have to know all the details when you know the master artist.
It is also important to trust God through the circumstances, not in spite of them. If your trust in God is dependent on your circumstances, that may be a sign that you are running to God for prosperity instead of out of a want for a real, genuine relationship with Him.
It's hard for both fear and love to coexist. Therefore, focus on what you are grateful for or what brings you joy, and fear will fade. Don’t trust in your own strength, but be clothed in the spirit of God, which is not of fear (1 Timothy 1:7)
Doubt isn’t bad when it leads you to the truth. It also isn’t wrong to question – many people in the Bible did when they didn’t understand. When you are lacking faith, ask God for more.
Lastly, don’t obsess over the specifics of God’s will for your life. Instead, focus on obeying His commandments and you will be in His will in whatever you do. Don’t worry about what the future holds, but instead focus on the one who holds the future.
Do you live like you believe God is in control?
When is a time in your life when doubt led you to a deeper understanding of the gospel?
Comment your thoughts below!