How to Choose Faith Over Fear When Life Falls Apart
Questions raced through my mind.
What should I do now? Is this really my new normal? How am I supposed to live like this? When the doctor said it was a chronic condition, did he really mean it would never go away?
I felt scared. Angry. Worried. Anxious. Confused.
Because being diagnosed with a chronic condition meant my life was never going to look the same. I would always struggle. Always suffer.
I would always deal with limitations. Obstacles. And hurdles other people would never have to face.
I didn’t know what to do.
I just knew I was afraid . . . and I didn’t want my life to look this way.
- What is the difference between fear and faith?
- What does faith over fear mean?
- Why is faith over fear important?
- How do I put faith over fear?
- How to Live Every Day with Faith Over Fear
What is the difference between fear and faith?
Fear is a God-given emotion so it isn’t a bad thing. It is our brain reacting to a perceived threat. Which motivates a fight, flight, or hide response in us.
Fear is a healthy response when it helps to keep us safe or alive.
But it becomes an unhealthy response when it keeps us trapped or paralyzed.
This is why the Bible calls us not to be afraid. And to have faith.
The Hebrew word for faith “emunah” can be translated as “faith”, “believe”, and even “faithfulness”. This word “faith” means to have confidence in God. To live in full reliance on Him.
What does faith over fear mean?
The meaning of the expression “faith over fear” is to set aside our fear and CHOOSE faith.
It means no matter what happens we are choosing to trust that:
- God will do what He has promised.
- And He has our best interests in mind.
So, we can trust His plan even when we don’t understand.
We just have to choose faith over our feelings.
When we feel like God has abandoned us. When our hearts are breaking and nothing seems to make sense, we can choose to have faith and believe God’s truth:
- He will never leave nor forsake us. (Deut. 31:8)
- He will work ALL things out for our good. Yes, even this awful thing. (Romans 8:28)
- He loves us, is for us, and has a good plan for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Why is faith over fear important?
Living in fear can lead to all sorts of health issues. It weakens our immune system and causes cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, clinical depression, and so much more.
But living in faith means we have hope, joy, and the peace that passes all understanding. (Phil. 4:6-8)
No matter what happens.
It is how we can live the abundant life in Christ. (John 10:10)
However, we need to keep in mind, that faith doesn’t necessarily eliminate our fear. It’s not a blind acceptance or making blind decisions.
Faith means to consider what we are facing. To look at all the options around us. And then make a choice on what we are going to believe.
And what we are going to do about it.
Faith is belief in action.
It doesn’t mean we never feel afraid. It means we choose to push through and trust God anyway.
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”-Hebrews 11:1 NLT
How do I put faith over fear?
Faith comes from knowing God. Because you can’t trust someone you don’t know.
So, if you want to live by faith rather than be consumed by fear, you have to take the time to get to know God.
These 7 steps will help you get to know God more and learn how to put faith over fear.
- Step 1: Turn your worry into worship.
- Step 2: When fear tries to make you its slave, choose to pray!
- Step 3: Change your perspective.
- Step 4: Don’t feed your fear . . . feed your faith.
- Step 5: Focus on “God’s truths” not the “what ifs”.
- Step 6: Don’t forget about self-care.
Let’s take a closer look at how to practically apply these steps.
Step 1: Turn your worry into worship.
Take your anxious thoughts to Jesus. Picture Him taking them from you and laying them at the foot of the cross. And then praise God.
- For who He is.
- For all He has done.
- And all He is going to do.
By choosing to turn your worry into worship you remind yourself that God is still in control. Even when everything around you feels out of control.
Step 2: When fear tries to make you its slave, choose to pray!
Every time you feel afraid, make the choice to pray.
Right then. Right there.
The great thing about God is He is always available.
So, whenever you feel fear creeping into your heart you can choose to cry out to Jesus.
Ask Him to help you.
To give you strength. To be your peace when the world feels like it’s shaking underneath your feet.
Because the more you choose to keep turning your eyes to Christ, the more your focus is on Him. Rather than the things causing you to feel anxious.
Step 3: Change your perspective.
Just like Jesus was able to endure the cross because He kept in mind the glorious future awaiting Him. (Hebrews 12:2 ESV) You can endure the fearful things you are facing when you choose to remember eternity.
Everything you are going through is preparing you for your future home.
No matter what happens, God is still on His throne.
In the end, He will make everything right. And wipe away every tear from your eyes. (Rev. 21:4)
Step 4: Don’t feed your fear . . . feed your faith.
Watch your intake. What are you watching? Listening to? Surrounding yourself with?
What you pay attention to affects you.
So, pay attention to your environment.
- Are you watching the news every night?
- Scrolling through social media all the time?
- Do you hang around people who tend to only talk about everything that is going wrong?
These things will only give you more reasons to be afraid.
But you can choose to stop feeding your fear. And instead, start feeding your faith.
- Turn on some praise music.
- Read Christian books from credible authors.
- Listen to Christian podcasts.
- Get involved in a Bible-based church.
- Join a women’s Bible Study.
- Set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes. Then pray, meditate, and practice being still before the Lord. (Psalm 46:10)
“So we are always of good courage . . . for we walk by faith, not by sight.”-2 Cor. 5:6-7 ESV
Step 5: Focus on “God’s truths” not the “what ifs”.
When you feel afraid, it’s tempting to let all the “what ifs” consume your thoughts and forget to turn to God.
But if you take the time to read Scripture, you will be reminded of God’s precious promises to you.
You will discover how many passages remind you not to be afraid. And you will see the mighty ways God moved in the lives of those who lived before you.
As you read God’s Word, you will see what the Bible says about faith over fear.
And when you read, study, meditate on, and memorize Scripture . . . the Holy Spirit can bring helpful verses to mind when worried and anxious thoughts fill your head.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”-Romans 8:31 ESV
Step 6: Don’t forget about self-care.
There is a lot of talk about self-care these days and for good reason.
When you are running on empty it is a lot harder to keep your emotions under control.
You will find yourself more vulnerable to fear in those moments when you are feeling burnt out or fatigued.
So, if you are feeling afraid you may need to:
- Take a nap.
- Get a snack.
- Learn to say “no” so your schedule isn’t quite so overwhelming.
- Ask for help. (There is no shame in seeking counseling to help you overcome fear and anxiety.)
Step 7: Ask God to help you.
Ask God to grow your faith.
He wants to help you get to know Him so you can learn to trust Him.
It can be easy to get caught up in all the things you think you should be doing to build your faith . . . and then forget that faith is a gift. (Eph. 2:8-9)
It isn’t something you have to work for. It isn’t something you can earn.
Faith is like a plant.
You can water your faith by reading God’s Word. You can spend time with Jesus to give your faith some good “sonlight”.
But after that, you have to let God do the work of growing faith in your life.
How to Live Every Day with Faith Over Fear
I have now spent over 10 years living with a chronic illness. And since being diagnosed my condition has only gotten worse.
I can let my fear over what the future may bring hold me captive. Or I can choose to have faith and cling to Jesus.
I’m choosing Jesus.
But choosing faith over fear is a daily discipline. It takes hard work and practice.
It’s not easy. It takes time.
But Jesus never promised us an easy life. What He promised us was He would always be by our side. (John 16:33)
Which is why faith holds onto Jesus for dear life.
The truth is, sometimes this world is going to break our hearts. Sometimes life is going to be really, really hard.
But the God who passionately loves us is with us. He is for us. And He is working all things out for our good.
So, no matter what fearful thing we face, we can choose to have faith.
If you found this encouraging, then please share!
And be sure to download the FREE printable “Faith Over Fear Bible Verses”!
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