Last weekend I spoke at a women’s conference. The theme was “Fearless Faith.” The first three sessions dealt with how to overcome the fear of inadequacy, the fear of the storms of life, and the fear of facing the ghosts of our past. Yes, fear is real and it impacts nearly everyone but it needn’t hold us captive.
Jesus offered a wise directive to His disciples when He appeared to them after His resurrection. His sudden and unexpected presence terrified them. Acknowledging their fear, He said, “Why are you frightened? Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet….” (Luke 24:38,39 NLT).
Christ’s words addressed the disciples’ specific situation then, but they also apply to our lives today. Perhaps we struggle with the fear for our kids’ safety when they’re learning to drive. Maybe we struggle with fear over teaching a class or participating on a short-term missions trip. Maybe we wrestle with fear of financial insecurity and the unknown future when we put our house on the market and then prepare to relocate.
Any number of things can strike fear into our hearts, but we can overcome by applying Christ’s words to our situation:
- “Why are you frightened?” Fold a piece of notepaper in half. On the left side, write those things that make you fearful. Ie: I’m afraid my house won’t sell for the asking price and we won’t be able to afford a suitable replacement.
- “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?” Do you believe God is a capable and faithful provider? If so, then why does financial insecurity haunt you? Doubt creeps in when we allow our circumstances to overshadow the truth about who God is. Whatever your specific situation, ask yourself, “What aspect of God’s character am I doubting?”
- “Look at my hands. Look at my feet.” Where does our gaze linger longest? Rather than focusing on what-ifs and fears, let’s focus on God’s character and promises. Let’s focus on the truth that He loves us enough to die for us, therefore we can trust Him. Take your paper again and write a couple of relevant Scripture promises on its right side—directly opposite the reason for your fear. Choose to dwell on the truth rather than on the circumstances.
Next time you feel afraid, consider Christ’s words to His frightened disciples. Apply them to your situation, and you’ll move from fear to freedom.