We’re all tempted to fear one thing or another. Money struggles may be near the top of that list, but they’re not the only thing that keeps you awake at night. But God didn’t create us to live that way. He wants us living in peace, not paralysis.
To do that, we have to recognize fear and call on our faith to conquer it. Here are three things to keep in mind when fear tries to raise its ugly head in your life.
1. Fear is not from God.
This is foundational to our faith and our finances! The Bible says that God is not the source of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), which means it comes from a different direction. And since God doesn’t cause fear, He certainly doesn’t want us living in fear.
But that’s only part of the story. The way we deal with fear says a lot about what we think of God. Fear tells us He really can’t protect us or meet our needs; and if we live in fear, that’s what our lives project to the world.
2. Fear is not healthy.
The Bible describes God’s gifts as good and perfect (James 1:17). Since fear isn’t one of God’s gifts, nothing good can come from it. Actually, paralyzing fear can cause serious damage in many areas of our lives. It can create chaos spiritually, emotionally, financially and relationally.
Left to run its course, fear can tear us apart. So, if we’re going to live healthy, productive lives, we’ve got to get a handle on our fears.
3. Fear is not your only option.
Throughout the Bible, we’re told to “fear not.” And instead of fear, God wants to us focus on love because “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). When we focus on His love for us and learn to trust Him, we won’t be paralyzed by worry and uncertainty.
To live out God’s better plan for our lives, we’ve got to take the fight to the enemy. So, here’s a two-pronged approach to conquering fear for God’s glory.
First, hold fast to your faith. Remember, God’s crazy about you. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35–39). So, trust Him. Talk to Him about your fears. And if you need wisdom, ask Him. He’s promised to share His wisdom with you (James 1:5).
Second, take action. Create a plan to break the negative inertia that’s holding you back and get moving. Set some goals and start working toward them. The old cliché carries a lot of truth: Pray like everything depends on God, but work like everything depends on you.
Oh, and one more thing . . . step back and really evaluate what you’re afraid of. Often, our fears are rooted in unanswered questions, uncertainty and things we can’t control. So don’t fixate on what hasn’t happened yet (or might never happen). At the same time, only deal with the things you can control. Let God deal with the stuff you can’t.
Following these steps can help you experience a peace that passes understanding instead of a fear that freezes you in your tracks.