How can perfect love cast out all fear?
Have you lived with fear? Suffocating, irrational fear?
Fear of driving, fear of storms, fear of losing a loved one were all things I struggled with for years.
That clench in my gut-that pang in my gut. Anxiety had a way of controlling my emotions so much that I completely forgot all of God’s wonderful promises for me.
It was after I got married that I realized how much anxiety controlled my life. I tried to hide it but fear had a way of taking over my self-control.
If my husband was not home at the time he said he would be, I started worrying.
As much as I tried to convince myself he was fine, panic wanted to kick in. I was sure that he had been in an accident and that the police would soon be at my door.
Have you ever experienced that?
Then, after having my first baby, my mothering instincts were in overdrive. Not only was I paranoid, but I also panicked, often making situations worse.
A calm mother is an excellent example for her children, but a mom that is uptight and anxious influences her children to be fearful too.
Thankfully, my husband’s calm demeanor helped me recognize how much I had allowed fear to control me.
Once I realized the extent of my anxiety, I able to seek help from God.
God did not give us the spirit of fear.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love,
Once I realized the root of my anxiety, only then was I able to seek help from God.
3 Steps To Overcoming Fear Biblically.
Step 1: Recognize that fear does not come from God.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
If fear is not God-given, then it must come from somewhere else. The Bible teaches that Satan is the father of lies (Jn 8:44). He is cunning (2 Cor 11:33), crafty (Gen 3:1), and he has been conquered (Heb 2:14-15).
When we allow our fears to control us, we give the devil a position of power and authority that he does not deserve.
As Christians, we have the power necessary to stand against the schemes of the evil one.
Psalm 34:4 says that the Lord can deliver us from our fears, but we must learn to trust Him first.
Step 2: Practice trusting God with your fears.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV
Lack of trust and hearts filled with unbelief kept the Israelites from the promised land (Deut 1:19-45).
And if we aren’t careful, the same things will keep us from God’s promise of perfect peace.
I was not able to enter into the perfect peace of God because of my lack of faith.
I did not TRUST GOD, therefore I did not have peace. In moments of anxiety, I failed to fix my mind on Him and focused on my fears instead.
Learning to trust God means learning to surrender everything to Him.
Step 3: Cast out your fears with the power of God’s perfect love.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 KJV
After I realized that fear does not come from God, and began to trust Him to help me overcome fear, I was much more relaxed and at peace.
My ability to handle stress increased, and although I still experienced fear, I learned how to hand my worries over to God through prayer.
One evening, my husband read 1 John 4:18 aloud, and the truth of it hit me right in the gut.
I prayed and asked God to perfect His love through me. The calm that came was remarkable.
I finally knew what perfect peace felt like.
I finally knew what perfect love felt like.
If you are struggling with anxiety, I invite you to take it to the Lord in prayer.
Tell God that you realize that fear does not come from Him. Ask Him to give you strength to trust Him and to perfect His love through you.
Abiding in God’s Word and in prayer daily helps to overcome an anxious and troubled mind.
Is my battle with my anxiety eliminated completely?
No. When I take my eyes off of Jesus and do not take the time for daily prayer, and quiet time with God, I sink.
I am like Peter who sank into the sea when he took his eyes off of Jesus (Mt 14:22-33).
So keep your eyes on Jesus! Meditate on His wonderful promises, and ask Him to take away your fear.
The perfect love of our Savior is the power you need to overcome fear and experience peace in your everyday life.
“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isaiah 43:1b-3a KJV