It Starts with Trust: Winning the Battle Against Fear
Written By Lisa C. Gant
When we’re small children, fear is easy enough to identify, often taking the form of invisible monsters who lurk under the bed or hide in dark closets. Over time, however, we learn that those fears usually aren’t based on reality. The monsters that we imagined with sharp claws, shaggy fur, and vicious fangs aren’t real, and nothing is waiting in the dark to grab us while we sleep.
But what do we do when our fears are real, terrible things that can happen?
As adults, fear becomes menacing in a different way. Instead of ghosts, monsters, or werewolves that fill our nightmares, our fears take the form of a cancer diagnosis, a sudden job loss, or the death of a loved one. Each day, we battle these larger-than-life fears that seek to rob us of peace. At the same time, we also face a myriad of little fears that swarm in our minds like gnats: Will I be able to meet my sales quota at work this quarter? Is my spouse satisfied with our marriage? What should I do about my child who’s struggling in school? And don’t even get me started on fears triggered by our modern, toxic, ever-present news cycle.
Fortunately, we serve a God who reigns over fear and has given us the tools we need to fight back. Psalm 56:3 is a simple verse that shows us where to start: “When I am afraid, I will put my trust and faith in You.” (Amplified Version) Trust is a powerful thing, especially in the hands of a child. Childlike trust is firm and unyielding; it does not waver. It is pure and undiluted by doubt. That’s what Jesus meant when he said that anyone who wants to enter the kingdom of heaven must become like a child (Matthew 18:3).
And that’s the kind of trust that we need to place in God. Trust is a choice, one that is separate from our feelings.
We may feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and confused, but we can choose to place our trust in God despite those feelings. We can choose to acknowledge that God knows the plans He has for us and that they are good plans that will give us a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Finally, we can choose to cast all of our fear and anxiety on Him, knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
Trusting God can be challenging, especially if we’re used to figuring everything out for ourselves. However, if we want to have any hope of winning the battle against fear, we have to start by putting our trust in the Lord. It’s the safest place in the world for our confidence to be.