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Learn why we Christians live in both fear and faith, how to understand this relationship and use it to accomplish our mission for Christ.

In Fear And Faith

Though it's often delivered as well-illustrated and profound, a lot of what we've been told and taught about fear and faith is...ignorance masquerading as wisdom.  Despite what we've been told, there were no "fearless" people in the Bible, faith isn't "the opposite" of fear and being afraid isn't a "prayer to the devil."  In fact, looking at things in these ways, does a lot to discourage Christians who would otherwise be willing to risk and rely on God.  I pray that this article restores your understanding of fear and faith in a way that encourages and empowers you. 

Understanding Faith And Fear:

The first thing to understand about fear is that everyone experiences it.  Rational fear happens when we're in danger or when we're trying risky things.  Experiencing fear is not a sign you don't have enough faith.  In fact, if God has called you to do something for Him, it's normal to experience some fear.  The more extraordinary thing He asks, the more fear is to be expected, the more faith is required.  Understanding fear in this context is important...fear is necessary for faith to be revealed and grow.  In fact, without fear, there would be no need for faith.  The familiar saying goes well here, "If you want your life filled with terrible, frightening situations, pray for faith."  So, in a very real sense, fear grows and develops faith.  

How Faith Conquers Fear:

This is the thing that confounds the enemy.  He uses fear to paralyze us and get us to stop trying.  But Jesus gives us the faith we need to crush the enemy's weapon.  It's good to mention Jesus, here, because many false teachers are leading Christians to believe faith is something we develop ourselves and that all we need is faith in faith.  They suggest that we have the power, absent God, to heal, defeat fear, move mountains, etc.  This is not true, and in fact, leads us away from true faith in God.  Take some Bible phrases out of context if you want, but you will not convince me I am God...He's the one who does the stuff.  I'm just privileged enough to watch.

The only way faith defeats fear is through perfect love, which the Bible says eliminates fear.  Perfect love is God, embodied in Jesus.  Each of us is given a measure of faith.  Once we have accepted Christ through faith, God is within us...perfect love lives within us.  We now have the ability to overcome fear, which we will still experience as God grows our faith in Him.  Experiencing fear is not "prayer to the devil," as some would have you believe.  Allowing fear to control you, though, is expressing faithlessness.  He who is within you is greater than fear.  As we learn to live in Him and His power, we learn to live above fear.  It may take baby steps at first, but eventually He will have us soaring to great heights of faith.    

Examples Of Faith Over Fear:

Gideon was cowering in a hiding place when God called him "Mighty Warrior."  Moses fled Egypt and went into exile for forty years, then asked God to use someone else to speak for him.  David, along with the rest of Israel, fled from Goliath, before finding the motivation and the faith.  Jacob (Israel), out of fear, sent his wives, flocks and children ahead of him, when he returned to his brother.  Elijah, after calling down amazing miracles in God's name, cried out to God in the fear that he was the only faithful one left.  Peter denied Christ in fear of the Sanhedrin, but later faced the same group who killed His and our Savior.  All of these, and hundreds of others of God's faithful servants are recorded in the Bible as experiencing great fear and expressing great faith in their work for God.  Faith does not equal fearlessness.  Faith is going on despite the fear.

I can't discuss faith without mentioning Hebrews 11, where faith is explained with many examples from Biblical history.  Some false teachers are saying your faith can be measured by what God does for you and how little struggle you have in life.  The true measure of faith taught in the Bible is in Hebrews 11.  Read it and you will agree, faith isn't measured by what God does for us, but by what we do out of belief in many struggles we endure and still believe in His promise.  Jesus promised we would be persecuted on account of Him, but that He would help us stand firm.    

Your Example Of Faith:

As we move closer to the end times and the persecution to come, it's time for each of us to prepare ourselves for the struggle.  We can no longer allow false teachers to entice us further away from faith in the One True God.  Instead, it's time to build ourselves up for battle.  We need to practice by standing firm in the mission He's called us to, never allowing fear to control our actions.  Step-by-step, we must move ever closer to every action of our lives for Him, in fear and in faith.

What do you do to overcome fear?

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