I Choose Faith Over Fear
We cannot always choose what happens to us, but we can choose what we allow to happen in us. We make our choices – and then our choices make us. Choices matter. We all know that, but acting on it can be another thing entirely. Humans are born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. That means that all other fears are learned as we go – you weren’t born with it! Battling fear doesn’t make you wrong; it makes you alive. It makes you human. But God tells us repeatedly in scripture to “fear not.” That’s a command – not a suggestion, a command. Fear doesn’t hold on to us unless we hold on to it, and God expressly tells us to let go of our fears.
We all experience fear, but God doesn’t want fear to have you. Letting fear hold you back from the fullness God has for you can be detrimental; we know that. Then the question becomes how we choose faith over fear in practical terms. Proverbs 3:5 (TPT) says: “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. What I fear the most reveals where I trust God the least.”
Choosing Faith Over Fear
No one thinks that choosing fear instead of faith is a good idea. However, many of us struggle with actually acting on that knowledge. Deciding to take the path faith offers is a conscious choice that we have to make in order to fully embrace the life that God has for us. Here are some important things to remember:
- Trust in God’s will. Sometimes God’s will doesn’t make any sense to us in the moment, but we need to trust in His goodness and His wisdom. In Matthew 14:22-29 (NIV) it is written: “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” God’s will is that we come to him regardless of what’s happening around us – and his word makes it possible for us.
- Trust in God’s word. The Bible says to trust in God completely. Completely – not mostly, not some of the time, not ninety-nine percent. God’s word is faultless and always true – and in the world we live in, that is a priceless comfort. Peter walked on the water, but in essence he walked on Jesus’ word. The walking on water wasn’t so much the point as standing on His word – and when Peter let fear distract him, that’s when he started to sink. Matthew 14:30 (NIV) continues: “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” Matthew 14:31-33 (MSG) continues: “Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, ‘Faint-heart, what got into you?’ The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, ‘This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!’”
- Believe it before you see it. It is only natural to want to see evidence before we believe, but we cannot make that a way of life. Our faith fades when we focus on our feelings – that’s just how human nature works. Choosing faith over fear involves believing before we see the results in the flesh. Peter heard Jesus’ word and stepped out – and walked on the water. He only sank when he took his eyes off Jesus. Where we fear the most is where we trust God the least – and we have to believe that God’s goodness overcomes whatever we may face down the road.
Our lives don’t have to be perfect for us to act on God’s word and move towards Jesus. Choosing faith over fear is more than just a nice phrase to wear on a tee shirt; it is a life-changing choice that can change the course of our lives and our destinies. Whether we are full of faith or full of fear is a direct result of where we place our trust, and as believers, we need to place our trust in the God who loves us so much. He gives us more than we need – and his love and goodness is everlasting. When we keep that in mind, it is easier to choose faith over fear. Be encouraged; He has you in the palm of His hand.