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Facing Your Fears


By Charles F. Stanley

Fear is the uneasy feeling that we are inadequate. It is an alarm that goes off when we feel threatened. It keeps people from the attainment of their goals.

I’m not talking about normal, natural fears—such as the fear of falling or the fear of walking onto a busy highway. I’m talking about a gripping, paralyzing fear that is truly a spirit of fear. Paul wrote to Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).

Let me give you an example of this type of fear. Imagine a person who believes strongly that the Lord desires him to take a new job. He starts with confidence and enthusiasm. Soon he realizes that has much to learn about how to succeed in this new role. The whole project begins to seem insurmountable and overwhelming. He begins to take to heart the criticism of others. He feels as if he is a failure and will never succeed at this new position. He says, “I don’t have what it takes. I’m scared of taking any more risks.” The longer that trend in thinking goes unchecked, the more he moves in to sheer panic until he just wants to flee completely. Fear wins out and he does not accomplish God’s goal for his life.

When fear strikes you, face fear head-on. Ask yourself, What am I really afraid of? Break down the nature of your fear. Are you afraid of failure that will lead to criticism? Are you afraid of failure that will lead to rejection from someone you love or admire? Are you afraid that your weaknesses and inadequacies will be exposed? Are you afraid that others will withdraw from you or perhaps even punish you?

Admit the fears to yourself and to God. And at times, you may be wise to admit the fears to others. Then turn immediately to the matter of your faith. Faith is the solution for fear. Do things that build up your faith.

The first and best move you can make to build up your faith is to get your eyes off your problem and off yourself and onto Jesus. He is the Source of all your supply. He is utterly reliable and possesses all knowledge and all authority. Speak aloud the words of Hebrews 13:6 until they sink deep within your spirit: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

People may criticize, reject, ridicule and persecute, but they can’t take away your salvation, your relationship with Jesus Christ, your eternal home in heaven, or the joy, contentment, and inner strength the Lord imparts to you.

Second, ask the Lord to give you the help you need.It is one thing to say, “The Lord is my helper,” and another to say, “Lord, help me today,” or “Lord, help me right now in this situation.” You may need an answer to a problem, friendship, a good mentor or teacher, wise counsel, or extra energy and strength. Be specific in your requests.

Third, encourage yourself by memorizing the Word of God and quoting it as often as you need a fear-buster of inner strength.Take Isaiah 41:10-13 to heart. In this passage, the Lord promises to give us His presence; give us His power, which is vastly superior to his strength; give us His provision, which is more than sufficient; give us His protection against all of our enemies. What more could you need? Remind the Lord often of His fourfold promise to you.

And, finally, ask others to pray for you. Ask them to uphold you daily in prayer and in turn, pray for them and their success. We read in James 5:16, “Pray for one another so that you may be healed.”

What might the man in the example have done as he took his new job? He might have said, “I don’t know all about this job, but the Lord knows. He will help me get the information I need so I can be successful.” Instead of being overwhelmed, he could have chosen to see the job as a mountain to be climbed, step by step. When he failed, he might have confessed error to the Lord, and asked God to help him learn from his mistakes.

Every person alive has suffered loss. But if we continue to move forward in pursuit of God-given goals, He will give us victories in areas where we have struggled in the past. He will turn all things to good (Rom. 8:28).

Don’t be surprised when fear emerges. Nothing good in life comes without a struggle against fear. The key is to run headlong at fear with your faith in Christ Jesus and your confidence firmly set in Him. You can overcome fear!

 

Related Resources

Related Video

Victory Over Fear

Dr. Stanley explains what causes us to be afraid and explains the consequences of living in fear. He also shares how many of the negative emotions we experience in life are rooted in fear and that we can be free of this stressful emotion. (Watch Victory Over Fear.)

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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  • June 03, 2012 12:21 PM

    by

    God will give us the strength , to overcome whatever our issues are in life we have to believe and have the faith in him that he will supply all our needs according to his wor. He said all ye; that laboured i will give you rest . thank you my lord jesus christ and my saviour.
  • May 09, 2012 12:26 PM

    by

    I've always been feeling inadequate not measuring up to Jason. I struggle being jealous of him when he's around other people and i should't feel that way, but jealousy has been such a big battle for me. I pray for God to remove this ugly feeling out of me and to give me a new clean heart. That God will also bless our relationship and bring peace in our lives. Please pray for me to how to deal with my filthiness.

    Eric K
  • May 07, 2012 04:43 AM

    by

    This message is truly a blessing.God bless you even more Dr. Stanley.
  • May 06, 2012 08:50 PM

    by

    Dear Dr. Stanley:

    Thankyou for doing a series on Damaged Emotions...I suffer from an Anxiety Disorder and PTSD...

    I have been listening to you here in Phoenix, AZ on Channel 21 for sometime...

    I have difficulty dealing with this issue and people don't understand that this kind of fear can literaly paralyze you..
    I have Facing your Fears in front of my computer and am practicing keeping my faith and eyes on Jesus..

    I am just beginning to get back to driving or being a passenger in a car..sounds simple doesn't it..I still have the fear of driving and being out in public..but it is getting better..I refuse to stay locked up in my house either..how else would I b e able to tell others about Jesus! I have just begun asking others to pray for me about my anixety...

    Thank you again
    May God richly bless you and your ministry
  • May 06, 2012 03:23 PM

    by

    I'm so grateful for this 6 part series that you are doing, for healing damaged emotions. A topic very few will even try to address. The one today, on fear, has really helped me to understand where it came from and how it started and how it has affected my life. I've been afraid all of my life, and I never knew what I was afraid of...........Until I got Cancer and then I had a name for my fear. Almost too late, but Thanks Be To God, "All things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose." I had to walk through the fear and to face it, piece by piece, The Lord was with me and He helped me and He gave me the people who would be there for me. Not the ones I expected.
    I praise God for you Dr. Stanley and your Ministry. Please know that you are in my prayers and you are very much my "Church"......even though I live very far away.

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