Overcoming Fear and Anxiety
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
Fear and anxiety are a very real part of the human experience. Between all the uncertainty in the outside world and the doubts we face from within, it’s understandable that we feel anxious and afraid at times.
God created us with a complex array of emotions, many of which can actually be advantageous to us in certain situations. But sometimes we can let our emotions get the best of us and keep us from focusing on God.
So how can we overcome fear and anxiety when they begin to rule our lives?
The first and most important thing we can do is pray.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Sometimes we tend to shy away from prayer because we feel like we’re bothering God, or that it’s wrong to feel anxious. But the Bible tells us that God not only accepts our requests – He welcomes them.
He desires that we would share our worries with Him. There is nothing too big or too small for Him.
So whenever we feel afraid, we can come to our Father in prayer and trust that if there’s anyone who can make things right, it’s Him.
Another crucial thing we can do is lean on one another.
Consider the words of 1 Corinthians 12:26-27: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
We were created for community – not just surface-level interaction, but real, honest vulnerability. We have brothers and sisters in Christ with who we can share every part of our lives – both the highs and the lows. We can build each other up, encourage one another, and pray for one another.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow believers; we are made to bear one another’s burdens.
Finally, we can strive to step outside our comfort zones. Sometimes, we are faced with uncomfortable situations. But often, trying to avoid discomfort only hurts us more. Instead, we should aim to build courage, little by little every day.
In Joshua 1:9, God says to the Israelite people: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
No matter what we face, God is with us. The same God who created the universe is the God who will get you through tomorrow and every day after that.
And even if our worst fears come true, we can rest in knowing that our story is not over – God can create beauty from even the greatest of tragedies.