3 Strategies for How to Overcome Fear Biblically
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Fear is something most of us feel at times. It can be a healthy thing! After all, fear can keep us out of dangerous situations. But sometimes fear crosses that line from being a natural “warning system” to a constant companion invading all areas of our lives. This was definitely the case for me. But I discovered 3 things that taught me how to overcome fear biblically and in a sound way that grows overall faith and doesn’t just manage the emotion of fear at the moment.
So read on to learn how to start overcoming fear with faith and no longer living enslaved to emotion.
Fear? But Wait, I’m a Christian! – How to Overcome Fear Biblically
I was fearless as a child! I mean absolutely fearless. But at some point in my life, probably my later teens, I started to feel fearful of things – even things I once enjoyed.
When I was in Junior High, I would do gymnastics and I was a wiz at the uneven bars. I would throw myself all up, down and sideways on those things without a single concern for falling and smacking my little head on the mats.
But as I got older, you couldn’t get me on them. I suddenly feared something I once enjoyed.
Then fear started to grow and make its way into other areas of my life. I became fearful of people. I would be afraid to speak up and stand up for myself. I became afraid to say “no”. So I became what I call a doormat. I let people walk all over me.
Then I became a believer in Jesus!
I am a Christian! I wasn’t supposed to feel fear! Right?
After all, that is what I would think every day! But it wasn’t true. My fear didn’t go away the day I got saved. In fact, in some ways, I developed more fear.
I started to fear letting people KNOW I was a Christian because I was ridiculed by some. What should have given me boldness gave me more fear.
I thought I must be failing as a Christian if I am living my life in fear nearly almost constantly!
Oh how the enemy would use this against me! Not only would he cause me to spiral downward in this whirlwind of fear and anxiety but then he would make me feel guilty about it on top of it!
But I had battled fear for so long I didn’t know how to get out of this!
Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I was in this house of fear the enemy had constructed for me and I just watched as it spiraled further without any signs of it stopping.
I would pray and ask God to take the fear from me, but I felt like I failed at that too because it didn’t stop. I thought prayer would be this magic pill I could take and it would all just go away. I was still new in my faith and didn’t know anything about spiritual attacks. I didn’t know anything about an enemy who would target us from an early age to keep us from walking toward God’s purpose throughout our lives.
No…I was newly saved, isolated in another country and with no one to tell me any better. But God kept whispering to me that there WAS a way to defeat this.
Yeah I could have pursued the world’s solutions to rid myself of fear but I knew deep down that fear was just a feeling. Feelings are fickle. The world would have me in therapy talking about my relationship with my mother, taking medications to manage it, labeling me with some form of social anxiety.
No, deep down in the pit of fear in my stomach I KNEW this was a FEELING the enemy was using to keep me from doing what God had planned for me to do! So I didn’t want the world’s solutions to a spiritual problem!
So how do you learn how to overcome fear biblically when nothing seems to help?
Well, I found 3 ways that helped me in overcoming fear with faith and these together finally helped me and I hope they will be a help to you too!Deep down in the pit of fear in my stomach I KNEW this was a FEELING the enemy was using to keep me from doing what God had planned for me to do! So I didn't want the world's solutions to a spiritual problem! #fear #spiritualattack Click To Tweet
How to Overcome Fear Biblically With 3 Easy Steps
1. Praying for the RIGHT Thing
Wait, didn’t I just say I tried that and it didn’t stop the fear?
Yes, I did. But notice I say praying for the RIGHT thing? I was praying the wrong way.
You see, I was praying for God to make the fear stop suddenly, but yet I wasn’t addressing the fears themselves and the sources of those fears.
I was asking God to take it all away like He would snap His fingers and they would be gone without me ever having to look at the root cause.
I was just looking for a blanket resolution as though God should wave a wand and make all my fears all of a sudden vanish into thin air.
Without looking at what my fears were and WHY they were a fear, I was avoiding dealing with them. Avoiding your fears, or more specifically WHY it is a fear, is leaving a door open for the enemy to use that against you time and time again.
I needed to look at each fear and pray for God to show me why it was making me fearful, what the actual threat (if any and usually there wasn’t one) was, how it began and how I can release any hurt or pray about healing from it. That came with some serious self-examination.Without looking at what my fears were and WHY they were a fear, I was avoiding dealing with them! #fear #faithoverfear Click To Tweet
2. Examine Yourself and Forgive
The Bible says we should examine ourselves and see what sin is within our own lives (our planks) before we seek to point out the speck in someone else’s life (their eye).
In looking at the causes of fear in my life, I had a tendency to look for someone to blame.
I would remember the things people had said to me in my past, the way I was treated by them and the way my relationships had caused anxiety and even PTSD in some ways.
I would remember every time they told me I would never succeed, every time they said I was worthless.
So this created a fear of doing anything because I figured I would fail. Or, if I did begin something, I would quit before I could fail.
Now yes, some of that was absolutely valid and their words or actions did cause pain and hurt. We all have had people cause us pain and hurt in life.
But I was wearing it like a badge of honor. I was using it as an excuse for allowing fear to take hold of my life. I was giving those people free reign over my well-being and allowing them to steal my joy each and every day, even when some of them hadn’t been in my life for years!
I was allowing them to live rent-free in my head by not forgiving them and moving on, allowing God to let that forgiveness permeate my life and experience God’s forgiveness myself!
I had to look at look at the role I myself played in allowing this fear to take over my life. While what others did or said to me is valid and the pain I felt from it was valid, my own lack of forgiveness toward those people was allowing me to keep that fear alive in my life.
When I don’t have forgiveness and release that pain to God, I keep re-living them. I keep replaying them like old tapes (yeah I am old enough to remember tapes).
It allows the enemy to keep reminding me day after day, task after task, achievement after achievement, of those things people said about me so that I keep living under the oppression of them.
Any achievement would have its joy stolen by the enemy reminding me that I’m a failure so this achievement is short-lived and I will somehow mess it up or give up on it. That is what I lived with in my head.I was allowing them to live rent-free in my head by not forgiving them and moving on, allowing God to let that forgiveness permeate my life and experience God's forgiveness myself! Click To Tweet
If I haven’t forgiven someone for telling me I will always fail, I will keep hearing the words every time I set out to do something new.
How can I ask God to release me from that fear if I haven’t released the burden of unforgiveness to Him first?
I was asking God to take away the results of something I hadn’t yet surrendered to Him.
In failing to give it to God, I was allowing the enemy to keep possession of it.
I hadn’t submitted to God. I kept things to myself and away from Him. I held onto this unforgiveness and carried it with me every day.
When we submit ourselves to God, that comes with allowing Him to take over ALL areas of our lives, including those old wounds and those old pains. In doing that, God takes them from us so that the enemy cannot have them. THAT is how we resist the devil. He has no choice but to flee from a God who now owns the real estate the devil once held in our heads.
3. Become an Avid Student of the Word
Once you have examined yourself and any unforgiveness in your life and prayed and released it all to God, you need to replace those old tapes with new ones.
You need to hear what God says about you and your situation and your worth. You must replace those old words that caused fear in your life with words that GIVE life. You do that by reading, meditating on and studying the Word!
Keep a faith journal where you can write out verses that tell you who you are in Christ. Write down every verse that tells you what God says about fear! Write down every promise of God that resonates with you and your situation.
Reminding yourself AND the enemy of what God says about you is the perfect way to kick fear out of your life and start overcoming fear with faith.
Overcoming Fear with Faith – Faith Journal Scriptures
Some verses you might use in a faith journal are:
2 Timothy 1:7
1 Peter 3:14
Fear does not have to be a part of your life! Replace fear with faith! Pray about those areas you haven’t dealt with, forgive people (and yourself), release it to God and then replace old tapes with the Word and what God says about you instead of what the world or people in your life have said about you.
Overcoming fear with faith as a Christian doesn’t happen over night, but every day His mercies are new! His grace can overcome your fears and you will see those changes happen!!
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Thanks for another excellent post Diane, and your wonderful use of Scripture— as always! 🙂 I especially like the part about forgiveness! Forgiveness is a gift I give myself. Pinned and tweeted. Thanks for linking up at instaEncouragements!
Thank you Patsy!! Your comments always bless me!!
All so good. I think as believers we think there is a magic God wand that He can just wave over us and bam – fear is gone. But oft times, these things are conditional Great points here. Thank you. Visiting from Debbie K’s today.
Thank you!! Yes you’re right! We feel guilty at times for feeling fear as Christians as if we are somehow missing something. But it doesn’t just necessarily go away right away!! God also uses some of those times to teach us things along the way!
A great way to deal with fear – i hadn’t thought of examining forgiveness and its role. I love this vs I found last week: I Chronicles I think: Be not afraid and act! I think I forget that second part – to go ahead and act while afraid helps make the fear disappear cuz I can only concentrate on so much at once!
I can totally relate to that!!!
Christians aren’t supposed to have fear??? Oh how our enemy twists the truth and attempts to bring shame and guilt into our hearts. We might not ‘supposed’ to have fear, but we certainly do experience it. And if it wasn’t common in the life of a Christian, then it wouldn’t say “Do not fear” in the Bible as often as it does.
I appreciate your tips on conquering fear. Sometimes it’s a daily battle.
Thanks for sharing on Grace & Truth.
Amen!!! It is a very real tactic the enemy exploits!! Thank you Aimee!!
Thank you so much for the wonderful and sweet words .to be honest am a victim of fear and l myself didn’t know how to overcome it but after passing through your story, l have been praying to God to take away my fear but nothing has been happening simply because I wasn’t stating the cause of my fear and neither have I ever forgiven those who hurt my feelings. But thank you so much and May The Almighty God bless you dear
I am so glad you found it encouraging and I pray it helps you. Just remember, forgiveness is a decision and not a feeling. We often think we need to ‘feel’ forgiveness toward the person and feelings are really fickle. We just decide to forgive and eventually, our feelings will line up! Then when we forgive, we can let go of that cause, give it to God and say “I do not live in that space any more”! I pray this helps you!