My husband and I were in Denver, Colorado last weekend and rented a car for one day. On our way back to the rental car facility the tire pressure light came on. When we stopped to check it out, we found out the tire was down to 22 pounds and was supposed to carry 32 pounds of air.
So fear began to set in as we had about twenty more miles to drive on major highways. I keep praying, “Lord, please don’t let the tire blow.” I was worried we would have an accident, or worse. My body was tense. I was filled with anxiety and holding tightly onto the armrest of the car. I did not relax until we made it to the rental car facility, and was majorly relieved that we were safe.
In retrospect, why didn’t I just relax and trust God that he would get us to the rental car site without a problem? I had prayed, so where was my faith? Instead I chose fear over faith.
We can look at our current world scenario and the Global Pandemic the same way. Yes, people I know have gotten sick but they have recovered. Some are dying, but I have prayed proactive prayers asking God to shield our household from COVID-19, In an act of faith when all this started, I anointed our door frames, and I need to trust that God can and will protect us. So far. So good. Faith is winning.
But if you are struggling to choose faith over fear, here are two practical ways to overcome fear both starting with “R.”
Recognize the Spirit of fear is not from God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” When fear comes over us, we must rebuke it, in the name of Jesus. Speak back to it. Last Sunday, I started sneezing and my nose was running. I do have allergies, and this could possibly be a cold, but with all that’s going on with COVID-19, it’s easy to start worrying that this could be the Coronavirus. I am rebuking the thought. Do I have faith, or am I going to be fearful? Ephesians 6:16 says we need to take up the shield of faith and with it, we can dodge the fiery darts of the evil one. By Tuesday, I was well.
Remember that if we believe in God and His Son, Jesus, we can overcome fear. Psalm 56:8 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Jesus said in Mark 5:36, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” We need to remember how our heavenly Father has brought us through problems in the past. The Israelites provide a great example of this. They remembered that God had parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River for them, so when it was time to conquer Jericho, they pressed into faith rather that fear, despite the prerequisites required for victory. In Joshua 6, The Israelites were told to first march around the city once a day, then on the 7th day, circle Jericho seven times while the priests blew trumpets. On the final long blast of the trumpet, the whole army was instructed to shout. It was an act of faith, and when they did what God asked (even though it was unorthodox) the Jericho walls collapsed. Faith trumped their fear.
Fear can paralyze us and can prevent us from moving forward. Well known paster, Rick Warren, said, “Fear is a self- imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”
Today, will you choose faith, or will you choose fear? Faith always diffuses fear.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)