Overcoming Fear [Bible study]

What is fear?

The dictionary defines fear as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Whenever we feel afraid of danger, or evil, or pain we are feeling fear. Fear can be real or imagined. We can have a real reason to fear or it can be an unreal expectation of bad but even when it’s not real it doesn’t make it less powerful. Fear can be a powerful emotion that directs the way we live and how we do things.

The Bible in many instances reminds us not to fear.

So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

I love this verse because God tells us why we shouldn’t fear:

1) He is with us

2) He will strengthen us and help us

3) He will uphold us with His right hand.

Often, fear is a response to our feeling like we are all alone; like there is no one to help us; and there is no one to carry us. But God’s word reminds us that He will be all we need so we need not fear.

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. “Joshua 1:9 NLT

God gave a command to Joshua that he shouldn’t fear because he was going to be with Him wherever he went. Joshua had a real reason to fear, he was taking over the leadership from Moses. Moses was a tough act to follow.

Joshua was tempted to feel inadequate and unfit for the incredible job in front of him. But God had given him a promise. Joshua 1:5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

There is never a command where there is no promise. Every command follows a promise. The promise is God will not leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us wherever we will go, therefore He follows with a command do not fear for I am with you!

Fear tells us that we cannot be able to do the things God is calling us to do. Fear whispers we are inadequate and unfit for the job. It reminds us we aren’t enough for the task. This is true but what fear leaves out is we may be inadequate but the God with us isn’t. We may not be enough but the one with us is more than enough. When we know who is with us and for us, we are able to dispel fear.

I love this reminder, for I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

We are helped and therefore we have a reason to stand confidently and go where God tells us to go and do whatever He tells us to do.

4 truths that dispel fear.

Knowing God is our father sets us free from the bondage of fear.

For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but have received a Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, father.” Romans 8:15 NKJV

If we are living in fear, we are living in bondage. But Romans, tells us that’s not who we are, for we have received the Holy Spirit who enables us to cry out to God as our father.

A father denotes protection and provision. When fear comes at us we cry out Abba! Father! Help! And God comes to our aid.

Just as a child feels when he or she is walking with dad holding their hand- safe, secure, and protected. They have an assurance that dad will protect them from any danger. We can be fearless because we have the assurance of the protection of our heavenly father.

Because He is now our father we are protected from the enemy. We have this promise as His children. And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” Psalm 50:15

He shall call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. Psalm 91:15

There is a solid promise that we will never be alone in trouble because we have a father we can reach out to.

I also love that He says, “I will be with you in trouble.” Even when trouble doesn’t go away immediately, He walks through it with us and leads us to the other side. God isn’t on the other side of our fear and trouble cheering us on. He isn’t the friend who doesn’t know how to show up for us in trouble. He is the one who stays with us and doesn’t leave us even for a second.

David said, “You have delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 His deliverance is all-encompassing. He doesn’t deliver us from some of our fears… but all of our fears. Sometimes, it’s not trouble we need deliverance from but from fear itself.

Peace is a gift that casts out fear.

I am leaving you a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27NLT

Because we have His gift of peace, we have no reason to fear. The reason the world cannot give us this peace is because peace is a person and His name is Jesus. He isn’t just giving us a feeling of rest and assurance. He is giving us Himself and this is what brings us the rest and assurance even in trouble.

It’s the same peace that Paul talks about Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

His peace guards our minds and hearts against fear. This means that when His peace enters fear has to leave. And His peace stands at the door of our hearts and mind so that fear doesn’t get in again.

We access this peace through prayer. When we come to God as our father and ask for His help. The first answer is that He gives us peace- peace that safeguards our minds and hearts from fear and anxiety. Then He answers our requests. But while he is working on our requests, He sends us his peace in the midst of trouble. He gives us rest and assurance that we are in his hands and that we have no reason to be afraid.

His presence and voice will drive out fear.

Overhearing what was being said, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “ do not be afraid; only keep on believing[ in me and my power].”Mark 5:36 AMP

In Mark 5:22, we meet Jairus, a synagogue leader who had come to Jesus because his daughter was deathly ill. In the middle of his seeking Jesus, he receives the news that his daughter had died. vs 35

But when he overhears he immediately intercepts the fear that has been released over Jairus. Jairus had a reason to fear his daughter was now dead.

However, His presence and voice dispels fear from Jairus and gives him the ability to stand in faith. Jesus saying do not be afraid, he can give Jairus power to overcome the fear that was released.

When Jesus enters a situation fear has to leave, the two cannot coexist. That’s why when we feel afraid we should seek His presence and His voice. We seek His presence through prayer and worship, and His voice through His word.

Sometimes, we cannot avoid situations and voices that release fear over us but we can intercept the fear with His voice. We can stand on His word and we can hide in His presence where fear cannot access us.

His presence is a shelter from fear.

One translation says, you will hide them in the shelter of your presence; from the trouble of the children of men, you will hide them from strife in your shadow. Psalm 31:20

David was a man well acquainted with the protection of God’s presence. He was a worshipper and he discovered that in worship dwelt God’s presence and in this place, fear was thrown out. He no longer was afraid to face trouble because he knew where to go to. He said You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

David references both His presence and His voice as a shelter from fear and trouble.

For in the day of trouble he will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of his tent he will hide me; he will lift me up upon a rock. Psalm 27:5 His presence is our shelter from fear and trouble. In the secret place of his presence, we are safe and lifted up above the fear that wants to overwhelm us.

Fear has no place where God is, and that is our safety.

Faith casts out fear.

Believing in God means we are trusting in Him and when we trust in Him something happens. Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:6-7

Faith in God makes us unmovable and unafraid of trouble because we know who we have placed our trust in. we know that He will be with us in trouble and will deliver us always.

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