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.
One 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.
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.
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!
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.”
Mary Rooney Armand loves to write inspiring, faith based stories. She focuses on helping others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their personal relationships. Mary lives in New Orleans with her husband Cory and four children. Besides writing, she teaches Bible Studies and leads small groups. In 2020 she created ButterflyLiving and a Bible Study titled “Identity” which is available on Amazon. To learn more visit maryarmand.com.