Lady under an Umbrella-take a leap of faith

Choosing Faith over Fear & 3 Fears that Hold Us Back

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Faith over fear does not mean our faith will eliminate the things we fear. If means we choose to walk by faith as we process our fear.

When we take a leap of faith in life, we trust that God walks beside us regardless of the outcome.

Faith over fear reminds me of a story where I had to make a decision and choose to overcome my fear.

Faith over Fear

In 1984, the New Orleans World’s Fair was a teenager’s dream come true; filled with history, delicious food and fun attractions from around the globe.

I bought a season pass and spent most of my summer exploring and wandering through the fair’s exhibits. 

outdoor cafe-faith over fearOne night while enjoying dinner with friends at one of the fair’s patio restaurants, a typical summer storm rolled in; a deluge that soaked the sky and showed no sign of subsiding.

As we watched the rain, we had to decide how to get back to our car.

One of my friends suddenly suggested…”Let’s just go for it and run in the rain!”

Making the Decision to Have Faith Over Fear

Each of us quickly analyzed our options and had to make our own decision. Could we really go for it?

Making the decision to choose faith over fear that night seems trivial to me now, but in the moment it was a real dilemma.

Decisions require us to make a choice between two alternatives. Faith that we will have our desired outcome and the fear that we won’t.

Faith over fear is a choice we have to make everyday.

We glanced at each other and one by one flung ourselves out from the patio and into the rainstorm.

We each chose faith over fear and ran in the rain for different reasons—some for adventure, some to fit in and others to not be left behind. 

But we all courageously took a leap of faith.

After the initial shock of the cold moisture hitting us, we ran, danced and laughed with only the dark sky and pouring rain surrounding us.

People watched us from a distance as we paraded by drenched. 

Our faith over fear decision initially made us feel awkward and exposed, but then we felt free, empowered and exhilarated.

It quickly became clear that before “going for it” we had not thought through the problems with our spontaneous decision.  Most notably, my friend’s dad would not be thrilled with wet seats in his car.

We did not regret our decision as we removed layers of wet clothes, found a few towels to sit on and drove home.

In my life, a spontaneous, “just go for it” mentality has been rare which is probably a good thing.

Choosing faith over fear usually involves thoughtful decisions guided by advice and prayer instead of being paralyzed by indecisiveness.

I still remember the feeling of faith over fear–deciding to run in the rain instead of standing on the sidelines that hot night in New Orleans.

boy in rain-faith over fear

Trying Something New

What holds us back when we feel God calling us to choose faith over fear?  What holds us back from saying something, trying something, or being something that is new and uncomfortable?

It is usually fear mixed in with a lack of confidence, misplaced expectations, discomfort, and procrastination.

Just like the initial shock of cold rain touching our skin, anticipated challenges and uneasiness deter us from choosing faith over fear.


What Does the Bible Say about Having Faith over Fear?

When we have faith, we have complete confidence in someone or something. The Bible says that faith over fear is how we experience true freedom and guides us to place our faith in God and His promises.

In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul teaches that 3 things last forever– faith, hope and love. Of course, love is the greatest of these attributes, but love is what gives us the courage to trust Him and have faith over fear.

In her book Do it Scared: Finding the Courage to Face your Fears, Overcome Adversity and Create a Life you Love, author Ruth Soukup writes,

Action is the Antidote to Fear
We tell ourselves we are too busy to pursue our dreams. But what if the real reason we’re putting off our goals is FEAR?
The fear that we’re not good enough, not smart or talented or capable enough. It’s the fear that others might laugh at us, or that we’ll get hurt or be rejected, or that pursuing our true potential will be too hard.  The fear that we’ll fail.
But courage doesn’t mean we are never afraid. True courage means taking action, despite the fear.


stairs-faith over fear

Since fear seems to be at the root of many of our obstacles, and why we hesitate choosing faith over fear, let’s address three big fears:

Fear of Failure

We limit ourselves and don’t pursue callings or changes in our lives because the fear of failure is greater than the benefits of trying. We think it is better to not try at all than to fail.

If we feel called to a new venture, if we have prayed, analyzed the cost and sought counsel, it may be fear that is holding us back.

Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Fear of Judgement

We feel others won’t like us or what we are pursuing.  We worry that people will criticize or simply ignore our efforts.

That night when we ran through the rain so many years ago, onlookers watched us dance along the way – it seemed others wanted to join in but may have thought, “What will people think?”

If others’ criticism is our greatest barrier, remember God calls us to rise above judgement of ourselves and of others.

Romans 14:12-13 NKJV

“So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”

Fear of Missing Out

We feel there may be something better that we will miss if we are involved in our current pursuit. This fear sounds frivolous to some, but “FOMO” can be a real hindrance to experiencing God’s best in the here and now. It can also limit our ability to find Godly contentment.

We should be led by a confidence in the best decision for us and not by looking around at the best decision for others.

Mark 11:23-24 MSG

“Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large.”

We need to recognize our fears and tell them to go jump in the lake so we can fulfill our purpose.

I believed for a long time that the mountains Jesus referenced in the book of Mark were literal mountains, but now I believe the mountains are challenges in our spirit that hold us back from walking by faith.

Fear is often the Mount Everest of our challenges/mountains.

It is never too late to chose faith over fear and

discover what we are called to accomplish!

Lady with hands up-faith over fear

Faith Over Fear Scriptures

 Proverbs 2:6-8 NKJV

For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.”

Deuteronmy 31:8 NLT

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Psalms 34:4 NLT

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.”

Matthew 6:34 NLT

 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

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33 thoughts on “Choosing Faith over Fear & 3 Fears that Hold Us Back”

  1. Avatar

    This is so true! I was reflecting on my “leap of faith” right before the shut down and questioning a lot of things.

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    Mary, I love how you tackled fear. I’ve discovered fear at the root of a lot of things for me. I’ve been working through these with the Lord. I don’t want to live a fearful life, I want to live a God-honoring life, and that requires me to let God be bigger in my heart and thoughts than fear.

    I never thought about the mountains in Mark as spiritual mountains. I’ll be pondering that. Great post!

  3. Avatar

    Wow. I really needed to hear this today. I love how you put this all together. It makes me want to go for it and dance in the rain! I also love how you say that the mountains are the challenges in life and fear is the Mount Everest. Isn’t that the truth! But the more we walk with God the more we will learn to let go of our fears and go for it. Thank you for this amazing and inspiring post!

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    Jessica Brodie

    I needed this today! God is so much bigger than our fear, and it’s SO LIBERATING when we can let go and be free to fly with the wings He gives us.

  5. Avatar

    I’m so grateful for this post! We can’t live the life that the Lord has for us in fear….we must have faith and faith accompanied by works. Thanks for sharing and cheering us on!!

  6. Avatar

    I used to think if we faced fear a time or two we’d grow fearless and be able to do anything God has for us. I’ve learned the fear doesn’t leave but the more we face it, the more trust in God we develop. Now, I recognize it as not from God and turn my eyes back on Jesus. A great, inspiring post!

  7. Avatar

    Fear stops us from doing so many things. Yet, if we trust God and just take the first step he will provide for us and protect us as we continue to engage and keep walking. Thanks for the encouraging post.

  8. Avatar

    You have no idea how much your article encouraged me today! I have had one of those doubt-filled days. This statement you make really struck me, “We should be led by a confidence in the best decision for us and not by looking around at the best decision for others.” Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom! 🙂

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