Fear was not always a part of my life. I can remember times in m childhood when I was pretty much fearless! That seems to have changed almost overnight when I reached my teens. Ever since then, fear has been ever present and always quick to invade my every day life. I decided I no longer wanted to live a life of fear and anxiety so I found 3 tips for overcoming fear as a Christian that have helped me and I feel they will help you as well!
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Overcoming Fear – But I am a Christian!!
I am a Christian! I wasn’t supposed to feel fear! Right?
After all, that is what I would think every day!
I must be failing as a Christian if I am living my life in fear nearly almost constantly!
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.
[ctt template=”8″ link=”Yoa52″ via=”yes” ]I am a Christian! I wasn’t supposed to feel fear! Right? After all, that is what I would think every day![/ctt]
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.
So how do you go about overcoming fear as a Christian when nothing seems to help?
Well, I found 3 tips for overcoming fear that finally helped me and I hope they will be a help to you too!
3 Tips to Defeat Fear
Tip 1 to Overcome Fear as a Christian – Praying For the Right Thing
Wait, didn’t I just say I tried that and it didn’t stop? Yes, I did. But that is because I was praying for the wrong thing.
You see, I was praying for God to make the fear stop but I wasn’t addressing the fears themselves. I was asking God to take it all away but I wasn’t looking at each individual cause. I was just looking for a blanket resolution as though God should wave a wand and make all my fears just 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.
I needed to look at each fear and pray for God to show me why it was making me fearful, how it began and how I can pray about healing from it. That came with some serious self-examination.[ctt template=”8″ link=”mn1jg” via=”yes” ]Without looking at what my fears were and WHY they were a fear, I was avoiding dealing with them.[/ctt]
Tip 2 to Overcome Fear as a Christian – 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).
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” ESV
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. 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 I their words or actions did cause pain and hurt. 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 haven’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 my own role in this fear taking over my life. While what others did or said to me is 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 those words and actions to God, I keep re-living them. I keep replaying them like old tapes. It allows the enemy to keep reminding me of those things people said about me so that I keep living under the oppression of them.[ctt template=”8″ link=”fw0JS” via=”yes” ]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![/ctt]
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 surrender it to God, I was allowing the enemy to keep possession of it.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” NIV
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.
Tip 3 to Overcome Fear as a Christian – Become a Student of the Word
Once you have examined yourself and any unforgiveness in your life and prayed and released your fears to God, you need to replace those old tapes with new ones.
You need to hear what God says about you and your situation. 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.
Faith Journal Ideas
Some verses you might use in a faith journal are:
2 Timothy 1:7
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” ESV
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” ESV
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” NIV
1 Peter 3:14
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”NIV
“…say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” NIV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” ESV
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 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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Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™