There is a lot of fear in our world. Fear of Covid19, rioting and looting, terrorist attacks, stock market and housing crashes, presidential and other elections, personal finances, health, and so on. It’s easy to fall into fear, because it’s a natural emotion. God gave us fear to protect us, so that when we are camping and the bear attacks, we can outrun the other people with us (just joking). That said, the fear most people are experiencing is not natural, it’s actually demonic.
Fear is one of satan’s favorite tools for immobilizing Christians. If he can get us focused on circumstances, we will forget about God’s promises. For example, if you are focused on your mountain of debt and allow fear to enter, you will forget that God promised that with just mustard seed size faith, you can remove mountains. If you are fearfully focused on the cancer report from the doctor, you will forget God’s promise that by Jesus’ stripes we are healed or that Jesus took all our diseases and infirmities to the cross.
In the middle of a bad circumstance, fear is a false emotion. To help us unpack that, let’s use an acrostic:
F = False
E = Evidence
A = Appearing
R = Real
Fear is false evidence appearing real. As you look at the mountain of debt and enter into fear, you begin to see yourself losing the house and ending up homeless. As you face the cancer report in fear, you see yourself in pain and agony, fading away and dying, leaving your family grieving and unable to support themselves. These things have not happened; they are in your mind. It’s false evidence that appears real to your mind, because it can’t tell the difference between reality and a firmly planted mental image.
When the demonic forces try to get you to enter into fear, your response should be to focus on God’s love. In fact, I would highly recommend that you memorize 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” God is love and if you are a born-again believer, He lives in you through the Holy Spirit, so love lives in you. When fear approaches, send love out to drive it away.
Next, use your faith to bring your thoughts into alignment with God’s promises. Notice that Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Once again we see evidence and again it’s not seen yet, but it’s from God, so it’s good, focus on that.
If you are in a financial struggle, memorize some scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Speak this scripture, “Lord, I know that you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me hope and a future.” Another good one is Deuteronomy 28:12 (NLT), “The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.” Again, speak this scripture to your financial struggles, “Thank you Lord that you are opening your rich treasury to me. That you are blessing all the work I do. That I will have enough money to support your work in many nations and will never again have to borrow.” Invest some time to find other scriptures to memorize and personalize.
You have a heavenly Father who loves you so much that He sacrificed His only Son to redeem you. He has a good plan for your life and will even turn everything into good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). We live in a fallen world, so there will be difficult times, but take heart, Jesus has overcome the world! (John 16:33)
No matter how bad things get, true disciples will not allow fear to come into their circumstances. Instead they will invite love to drive away the fear and then launch out in the faith necessary to enable God to change the circumstances. He that is in you, is always greater than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)