How Fear Affects Us
Fear Hides–Fear tells us we’re better off either in the darkness of denial or behind a mask of pride and performance.
Fear Isolates–As if all the cancellations, postponements and social distancing aren’t isolating enough, fear whispers the lie that you’re the only one who feels this way.
Fear Paralyzes–Uncertainty, feeling incompetent, and running worst-case scenarios through our minds can convince us that our best move is no move at all. Fear keeps us from moving forward.
How We can Fight Fear…and Overcome It
We know how fear affects us. We acknowledge the darkness, isolation and inactivity that accompany it. But how do we overcome it? Scripture has repeated instances in which we’re told, “Do not be afraid.” It’s easier said than done in our current climate, isn’t it?
Take another look at every time God says, “Do not be afraid.” Notice that His message doesn’t end there. Behind every nudge, every encouragement, every command not to fear, He gives us a reason why we shouldn’t fear. God knows that our fears need to be met with His strong promises. We can replace fear with truth.
Consider the promises that follow each mention of “Fear not.”
- I am your shield, your very great reward. Genesis 15:1
- God hears. Genesis 21:17
- I am with you. Isaiah 41:10
- The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
- You have found favor with God. Luke 1:30
Our fears convince us that we can’t handle what we’re facing. And I don’t think that we’re meant to handle it. At least not on our own. Notice that in all the examples from scripture, God doesn’t say, “Do not be afraid. You’ve got this!” Instead, He says, “Do not be afraid. I’ve got this.” That basic truth has the power to overcome all our fears.
Philippians 4:13 is such a familiar reminder that we sometimes miss it:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Our ability to overcome fear is in His strength. God’s constant presence is the greater truth that confronts our ultimate fears. We can move forward despite fear because we are equipped with the TRUTH to confront it. He is with us.
**This Weekly Insight is adapted from chapter 1 of my book Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence.
Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.