Six ways to defeat fear
Discover why truth is the best defence when you're feeling afraid.
There are a lot of battles in our world today. There are battles for territory and position; for money, scholarships, and a place on the basketball team. Persons lose their lives in warfare for religious freedom while others’ hearts are raisin-ed due to our sparring for everyday dominion.
We fight to create the "perfect" body shape ... for parental attention and popularity ... approval, acceptance, adoration, and evidence... we battle for the proof we’re making a difference.
But what about the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7) ... the fight to stay strong and true for Christ all the way to the end? How hard are you fighting for that?
If you're feeling afraid as you live as a Christian, these six steps will help you stay strong for the battle.
1. Do your training
While the fight to first choose Christ is a big decision (taking faith, guts, and a willingness to surrender), the fight to keep choosing Christ is tougher. If it were easy, more professing Christians would actually fight for what matters. If it were straightforward, we’d see confident risk-taking instead of insecurity. We’d see a Holy exhaustion instead of cowardice and complaining.
So how do you hold on to God’s perspective, and continue to stay ready in the fight of your life? You've got to keep going, keep training, keep working at it. First step - don't give up.
2. Study your opponent
I am not a boxer. I’m not even a fan of the sport. But I do know this much: One essential way to prepare for a fight is to learn the opponent.
To be ready for the match we must study our opponent’s tactics. We must observe his timing and subtle maneuvers, all the while documenting areas of weakness. From this insight, we can then choose our best weapon of defense.
As an opponent, fear is something to be reckoned with. Fear is relentless. It’s self-created, self-afflicted, and a wretched, manmade bully. Wherever we allow it, and as often as we excite it, fear becomes a part of our story.
3. Know the right moves
Oftentimes, fear itself is creepier than what starts it. Whether we’re in the dark, at an interview, or worried by spiders, or worried by what people will think of us following Jesus, fear is debilitating.
But we can defeat it with the shining power of truth. For example, when you turn the light on, the fear of darkness disappears as you realise there was nothing in your room the whole time.
Truth is real. Which is exactly why the Truth is our greatest weapon. It’s why God’s Word is our defense; our boxing glove, alive and swinging.
Memorizing the following acronym, I believe, may be our smartest move. FEAR. It’s False Evidence Appearing Real.
4. Take hold of the truth
What comes into your mind when you ask yourself these two questions...
- What is the greatest fight of my life?
- What am I afraid of?
Somewhere in our life, hopes, dreams or family; in our past or present, mind, heart or actions, those two responses will intertwine. Can you pinpoint just where? If you’re unsure, recall the situations and circumstances when you are most hesitant. Note when are you most apt to forget God? When are you prone to self-reliance?
When we find ourselves immobile, self-obsessed, or overly timid as Christians, there's a good chance we’ve allowed fear to reign in faith’s place.
5. Keep your gloves on
From beginning to end, the Bible records the stories of fearful people. Adam. Eve. Joshua. Mary. Peter fought fear daily.
Ironically, we are all destined to disappoint God thanks to our human weakness. But this is exactly why God sent Jesus.
Jesus entered the ring, not us. This means that even as we fight the battles of earth, Jesus won the war. Jesus finished the fight we would have given up on. You and I have already won because Jesus is our greatest weapon of all and God’s Word is is our toughest boxing glove.
Those wise enough to wear it have not lost a match yet!
6. Stay fit
As believers in Christ, we must be ready. If fear cannot completely reduce God’s people, it seeks to steal the joy which keeps us moving towards Him. And the moment we think fear has rested, or we can tackle it alone, our opponent rears its ugly head. Over, and over, again. We must stay fit by keeping equipped with God’s Word.
Next time you're afraid, remember the promises of God’s Word and as for His protection and help. Be reminded of what’s True and ignore false evidence. Turn the light on. Train alongside others who also honor God. And finally, in the Name of Jesus Christ, go ahead — throw fear down with the power of Perfect Love (1 John 4:18).