Have you been dealing with fear and anxiety during this pandemic and time of civil unrest? Have you been tormented by worry due to financial difficulties, the loss of a job or a conflict with a loved one?
We all experience anxiety, stress and discouragement; yet for many of us, these feelings have been an especially difficult struggle in recent months. The good news is there’s a way to overcome them and experience real peace. It starts with trusting God to do more—beyond what we think is possible.
We have a choice: We can try to do what we can based on our ability, or we can remember who God is and trust Him to do what only He can do. It might feel beyond you, but nothing is ever beyond Him. Psalm 119:68 declares this of God: “You are good, and do good.” In other words, God isn’t good because He does good. He does good because He is good. God isn’t all-powerful because He does powerful things. He does powerful things because He is all-powerful.
A couple of years ago, I passed out due to critically low blood pressure and had to be airlifted from my home to the hospital. The doctors later discovered I had lost over half my blood, and I had a blood clot the size of a cantaloupe in my abdomen. It was a scary experience as my life hung in the balance, but even as I passed in and out of consciousness while being flown to the hospital, I still had peace. Why? Because I knew that regardless of what was about to happen, God is good and faithful. I knew what I was experiencing wasn’t beyond His healing, saving power. Even my wife, Debbie, who couldn’t get on the helicopter with me and had to drive by herself to the hospital, chose to trust God and experienced His peace. Why? Because we know who God is. We know God does good because He is good. We know nothing is ever beyond His lifesaving power. In the same way, what we’re going through in our world today is not beyond God. People being healed from COVID-19 is not beyond Him.
There’s a difference between concern and fear. For example, if your child falls and hurts his wrist, you take him to an urgent care center, get X-rays and follow the doctor’s orders. You’re concerned about your child, but you don’t have to fear. It’s OK for us to be concerned; however, we cannot be fearful. Whenever we feel fear taking over, we have to stop ourselves and say, “I’m not going to be fearful. I’m going to trust God. I’m going to be concerned and do what the medical experts tell us to do, but I’m not going to be afraid.” In times like this, we need to remember that God is always faithful.
The key is to have faith and to believe God’s eternal and unchanging Word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The more we receive the Word of God into our hearts and minds, the more our faith will grow and the more willing we will be to believe and trust the Lord.
One morning not long after COVID-19 began to spread in the United States, I woke up feeling achy and feverish. Fear immediately flooded my mind. And just like I’m telling you, I had to remind myself of God’s faithfulness and believe what His Word says. That’s when the fear lifted, and peace filled my heart.
Don’t let the enemy run away with your mind. When you start to feel afraid or anxious, the best thing you can do is remember who God is and believe what His Word says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Time and time again, God reminds us in His Word not to fear. The first three times “fear not” or “do not fear” appear in the Bible are in Genesis. From the very beginning, God has been trying to tell us, “Don’t fear. Don’t be afraid. I’ve got it all under control. I’m going to take care of it.” In fact, “fear not” is the most repeated command in the Bible. It’s not a negative command; it’s a positive command. God is emphatically but kindly telling us, “Do not fear!” There’s actually some form of the phrases “fear not” or “do not fear” 365 times in the Bible—one for every day of the year! In other words, put your trust in God every single day, and don’t let your heart be afraid. Relax! God is taking care of this.
Now, think about how knowing and believing this would affect your decisions today. How it would affect the moments you might struggle with insecurity, worry or fear about your health, your job or your finances. In these moments, you can recall the truth of who God is and the promise of 2 Timothy 1:7—“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Remember, it’s OK to be concerned, but we cannot be fearful. Believing God is who He says He is and that He is always faithful is a spiritual practice that has the power to transform your life. Develop a habit of reminding yourself of this truth every morning when you wake up, every time you eat and every time you go to bed.
Knowing and continually remembering who God is equips you for every situation life brings and helps you to be free from fear. Because the more you know who He is, the less you will fear and the more you will experience His peace, joy and transformation in your life. ©2021 Robert Morris
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Robert Morris is the senior pastor of Gateway Church, a multicampus church based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. His television program airs in more than 190 countries, and his radio program airs in over 1,800 radio markets across America. He serves as chancellor of The King’s University in Southlake, Texas.