There was a time when I was afraid to speak in front of people. I remember vividly being asked to preach at a ministry event. I accepted, but once I was there, I became fearful. I decided to allow someone else to speak. God admonished me by saying that He had a special word that He had wanted the women to hear and I had that word…the other speaker did not. I immediately repented of my weakness. I have since spoken at hundreds of churches, conferences, retreats, and events around the world.
You may have an area of your life that makes you cringe in fear, or perhaps it makes your nerves go on overdrive. Some may also run away from the fear to find a place of safety. I want to encourage you that just as God helped me overcome my fear, He can do the same for you,. And the process doesn’t have to hurt or be scary. Let me share what I have learned.
Did you know that there are 365 places in the Bible that say, “Fear not…?” That’s one reference for every day of the year! Obviously, God knows we need help in this area.
Here are some larger-than-life women in the Bible that overcame their fears.
- Fear of Death–Esther (See Esther 1 – 10)
- Fear of Harm–Rahab, Abigail (See Joshua 2 and 1 Samuel 25)
- Fear that’s Personal (Shame, Rejection, Failure, etc.)–Eve (See Genesis 2 – 3)
- Fear of Unknown–Ruth (See Ruth 1 – 4)
When learning how to overcome fear, we must define the difference between good and bad fear. Good fear is when we acknowledge that God is sovereign, divine, and the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom lets us know when we should not do something – like eat the wrong fruit like Eve. It also helps us discern when we should do something, like trust in God’s protection as Esther or obey God’s directives.
Bad fear is when we ignore what God has given us as part of our package of gifts and experiences to help us in times of trouble. It is an earthly fear that makes it difficult to have wisdom in the midst of challenges or decisions. Notice that bad fear diminishes who God has created us to be and good fear advances us .
There are ways to learn how to put the good fear to use. First, when confronted with bad fear, immediately run to God’s presence. Remind yourself that He is not caught off guard with the situation. He knows what the best solution is to overcome the problem and turn it for your good (Romans 8:28). This can bring great comfort to your soul.
Second, acknowledge He is God. This may sound simplistic, however, how many times do we thwart His wisdom when we keep saying…”but….” when He is trying to instruct us? Surrendering to God is the ultimate way to position yourself to receive everything He has to give to you, (Isaiah 26:3). This includes… perfect peace!
Third, bring every doubt before your Lord. He is not going to rebuke you for being human. When the father had doubts about whether Jesus could heal his son, Jesus did not rebuke him and He healed the son (Mark 9:23-25). He can help our unbelief as well!
Fourth, sort out the situation. Find something positive. You may know of someone who has had the same fear as you do, but overcame it. They could be a great resource for you as a counselor or a prayer partner (Deuteronomy 32:30). The two of you can put quite a few enemies to flight…I think somewhere around ten thousand!
Fifth, take one step in faith. Just a small step shows that you have made a stand against earthly fear. That little step releases God to give you His grace, a surge of power that makes your little step into a giant step. He will bring to pass everything that seemed beyond your reach because you were afraid (2 Corinthians 12:9). His grace is sufficient for everything!
In today’s world where violence is just outside our door, and war keeps escalating; where people hate more openly than ever, and lies bombard our children; where pandemics and global climate seem out of control; where prayer is prohibited and sin exonerated – the enemy wants us to be afraid. He counts on it. Woman of God, establish your house as a place where earthly fear has no place to sit. Instead become a magnet of godly fear so that your family (and everyone else you know) can seek you out as a resource to help them overcome fear.
Go in God’s grace and make a difference!