Choosing Faith over Fear & 3 Types of Fear that Hold Us Back

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Faith over fear does not mean our faith will eliminate the things we fear. It 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 choose to overcome my fear and literally take a leap of faith!

“For we walk by faith not by sight, living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 AMP

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!” I struggled with the fear of getting wet, making a fool of myself, and expressing my opinion.

Choosing faith over fear was a real decision for me. Did I have the confidence that my friend’s decision was wise?

In life, we face many types of choices where we have to decide faith over fear.

Faith Over Fear is a Choice

Each of us quickly analyzed our options and had to make our own decision. Could we really go for it? Is faith over fear a choice we make when we face difficult situations?

Making the decision to choose faith over fear that night seems trivial to me now, but at 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 of us for adventure, some of us 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 choosing faith over fear–the decision to run in the rain instead of standing on the sidelines that hot night in New Orleans.

boy in rain-faith over fear

Try 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?

We usually won’t try something new because of fear. Fear mixed in with a lack of confidence, misplaced expectations, discomfort, and procrastination stops us from choosing faith over fear.

Just like the initial shock of cold rain touching our skin, anticipated challenges, uneasiness and discouragement 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.

What does the Bible say about having faith over fear? 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

Types of Fear

Since fear seems to be the root of many of our obstacles, and why we hesitate to choose faith over fear, understanding the root of our fear helps us overcome it. There are many types of fear, but we will address three types of fear.

3 Types of Fear 

1)Fear of Failure

Fear of failure means 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, have prayed, analyzed the cost, and sought counsel from friends, it may be fear of failure 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.”

2)Fear of Judgement

Fear of judgment means 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 judgment 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.”

3)Fear of Missing Out

Fear of missing out means we feel there may be something better we will miss if we are involved in our current pursuit. This fear sounds frivolous to some, but “FOMO” or fear of missing out 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 and impact our relationships.

We should be led by 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.”

When we recognize the type of fear we are facing and tell fear to go jump in the lake“, 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 or mountains. Fear can stop us from feeling encouraged to persevere despite our struggles.

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

The Bible is full of faith over fear scriptures to help us hear from God before we make decisions. When we trust God and our identity is in Christ we become empowered to choose faith over fear.

Here are five scriptures that have helped me on the path of choosing faith over fear.

5 Scriptures for Faith Over Fear

 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.”

I hope you have enjoyed my story of choosing faith over fear! What about you? Are you learning to take a leap of faith and choose faith over fear? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

Mary Rooney Armand

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. Mary has a Master of Business Administration and is a Life Coach. In 2019 she created ButterflyLiving and wrote a Bible Study titled, “Identity” which is available on Amazon. To learn more visit maryarmand.com.

39 thoughts on “Choosing Faith over Fear & 3 Types of Fear that Hold Us Back”

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

  2. 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. 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!

  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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