Faith or fear – what are you looking at your future with? This question lingered around me almost all day. I wanted to look at my future with faith, but, I could feel fear’s icy cold fingers squeezing my heart.
Would my boys love God in their teen years and beyond? or, would they choose to follow their father’s (current) agnostic beliefs? Am I doing right by them as a mom? What if I screw up homeschool? What if my acts of faith end up being acts of stupidity, rash, and shame? What if…
Fear squeezed harder. Until… the loving voice of Holy Spirit interjected:
I know the future. I am outside of time. I see past, present, and future. I have seen the end of your story and it has a happy ending. I’ve got you covered!
Fear vs faith
Fear has this habit of shrinking our world. It renders us immobile and ineffective. We become crippled and (pretty much) a big messy pile of loss and stress. Cortisol rushes through our bodies reducing our immune system, making us prone to illness, let alone burnout, anxiety, depression, and more. Our relationships take strain because we become either volcanoes about to erupt or snappy, agitated crocodiles (ok, I look like this when I am being ruled by fear – my poor family).
In contrast, faith expands and enlarges. We are encouraged to try and explore. Faith dares us to trust in the impossible and dream dreams so big only a miracle can make them happen. Faith lifts up our heads while we walk with a bounce in our step. We may be going through a hard time but we know God is with us working all things to our good. Worry is not even on our radar. We radiate God’s peace which in itself is a testimony to the people around us.
Faith is trusting God is who he says he is. I want my life filled with faith. Don’t you? (You can read more about the role faith plays in our lives here.)
About four years ago, I found myself facing what seemed to me a difficult position (regarding extended family). I was fighting off fear and panic. I was anticipating abandonment (another issue God has been working with). In my state of emotional turmoil, the Lord told me to not worry about molehills looking like mountains. By the time the molehill came up it would disappear. He was telling me to stop anticipating something that wasn’t there. Turns out I had been worried for nothing.
The mountains in our lives are often just little bumps in the road which fear has blown up and distorted out of proportion. Often these “mountains” in our lives fade so quickly by the time we reach them. Fear masquerades. Faith rests. Which one do you want to approach your future with?
Let’s be honest! It’s difficult to overcome fear by faith (or doubt for that matter which you can read here and here) because our fears feel so real and where they are triggering is important to us. Finances or relationships are a prime example. We care about both these things and when fear is knocking it matters to us.
Confidence is the absence of fear. Our confidence is to be in the Lord. As Christians, we know this off by heart. Jesus tells us to not worry or be anxious. How do we get that to go from something we know to something we believe and live?
Go to the root
It doesn’t matter how much we try to grow our faith or renew our minds. If we don’t get to the source of our fear, we’re going to keep being pulled into insecurity, worry, fear, and anxiety. We prayerfully ask God to take us to the root.
“God, when did fear of __________first come into my life?”
God’s answer to this question usually involves reminding us of a memory. This is the time to bravely allow ourselves to feel the emotions around that memory. We ask God to protect us and reveal the truth about him.
(Book your coaching session with me for help in this area.)
“God, what is the lie I am believing about you?”
While I sat fearing my future and nervous about how life was going to end up, I realized I was believing the lie that God needs me to be perfect as a wife and mom for my children to love him. Here’s the truth, God doesn’t need me to be perfect; he wants me authentic. The lie is I’m responsible for everyone else’s choices and walk with God. Ummm. No, they are!
Exchange fear for peace, love, and promises
This leads me to my next tip: give God your fears. We so easily forget that we can hand God our fears, worries, and cares. We don’t need to carry them around.
I am a visual kinda gal. I love how God speaks to me in pictures. On those days where I’m feeling insecure and overwhelmed, I ask God for a container or a picture of what my fears and insecurities look like. Sometimes they look like balloons or black liquid. I “give” God my stuff and watch him deal with it. The balloons may float into the air until out of sight or Jesus will pop them. It all depends on him and our dialogue.
I then ask Jesus what he has in exchange for my fears. I love this part. God doesn’t want to leave us empty handed. He always replaces the junk with beauty or the lies with truth. The best thing about asking God what he has for you is His answer which is always beautiful and unique to you and your situation.
I once remember struggling with insecurities and fears. I had gone for prayer with a good friend but could tell things weren’t finished between me and God. I asked God what he wanted to give me. He showed me his heart and placed it into my chest. His heart replaced the junk I had given him the day before.
Write down or journal what God gives you so when things get tough, you can remind yourself of His truth.
Renew your mind
One of the best ways to fight fear away is to renew your mind with the promises of God over your life, family, and situation. We take captive every fearful thought and worry; we submit them before God in light of his word, promises, and nature. We allow God’s truth to shift our perspective and lift up our heads.
After doing all this, choose to believe. Faith is an action. You don’t have to feel faith to exercise it. Faith and trust are closely intertwined. The best way to grow trust is to trust. I propose the same with our faith. Many times, we have to choose to believe in God, his promises, and his word. This may involve a deliberate action and choice on our part, especially, when we are weary, struggling, and losing hope.
I’ll leave you with this Scripture as an encouragement to you and to me:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:2-5 (NIV)
Resource to help you overcome with faith:
Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links which means that I get a small commission (at no extra charge) when you purchase my recommended products. All products recommended are those I believe wholeheartedly will help you live in the freedom God has for you as well as deepen your relationship with Him.
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|Foundations for Faith
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|Ever Increasing Faith
By Smith Wigglesworth
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