By Dr. Harold Sala
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 right hand. Isaiah 41:10
There are seven simple yet powerful guidelines to overcoming fear, ones which are tested and proven.
Guideline #1: Recognize and admit your fear. Whistling in the dark, pretending that things are OK when you are confronted with danger or difficulty, doesn’t help; but admitting your fear is a starting point which allows you to move in a different direction.
Guideline #2: Analyze your fear. Why are you afraid? While we fear what has not happened or could happen (fears that are usually unjustified), there are valid fears–a lump in your breast or swelling which is abnormal, situations involving possible terrorism, or the knowledge someone is out there who is an enemy. Whether your fear is valid or assumed, you must recognize it, analyze it and then do something which is valid.
Guideline #3: Act upon your fear. Not all fear is wrong; it can be a gift of God which leads to health and happiness; it’s when you are paralyzed by fear that you refuse to get up and check the door, or let your doctor check you out. There are two grave dangers associated with fear: an over-active mind and an under-active body. That means, stop thinking about your fear and do something about it. That means, move!
Guideline #4: Commit irresolvable fears to your Heavenly Father. This is the great key to overcoming fear. As David said, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3). God says, “Trust me!” Fear says, “You can’t count on God so you had better be afraid.” You decide which it is to be, because it can’t be both. Committing what you cannot change to the Lord is an act of your will, a simple act of faith.
Guideline #5: Overcome fear by faith. Can you count on God? Yes, you can. The Bible is full of promises including protection, His presence, His guidance and a whole lot more. When you believe that God would not lie to you, that you can count on Him, your fear is replaced by simple faith. Listen to the testimonies of others who have found His help and realize what God has done for others, He will do for you as well. Take simple steps away from your fear.
Guideline #6: Stand upon the promises of God’s Word. Mark the passages in your Bible that speak of His help. Put them over your sink in the kitchen, on the bathroom mirror where you shave. I like Isaiah 41:10, which says, “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 right hand.” The more you know of what God has promised, the fewer are your fears of what may happen.
Guideline #7: Never forget the source of fear. God? No–the enemy of your soul. Satan, who is an arch-enemy and a liar. Paul wrote, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (1Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
A final thought: Fear often makes you take detours–long ones at that. It causes you to avoid situations, avoid encounters with your doctor, avoid traveling, seeing friends, and turning to the Lord, afraid that you will be rejected. But faith puts fear to flight. Why live in the bondage of fear when there is the liberation that comes through simple faith in God and His ability to do what you can’t do?
You make a poor choice when you are a prisoner of fear, knowing faith can set you free. Choose to fight fear with faith, and you are bound to overcome.
Resource reading: Psalm 56.