Overcoming Fear / An encouraging word from Dr. Charles Stanley
Many people think the opposite of fear is hope, courage, or strength. The true opposite of fear is really faith. When fear causes paralysis, it not only quenches one’s peace, but it attacks the foundation of that peace—namely, our faith. Peace goes out the window when fear is present.
Much of fear is rooted in doubt that God will be present, provide justice or help, or be capable of dealing with the crisis at hand. Faith says, “Yes, God is here. Yes, God will provide. Yes, God is capable of all things!”
Much of fear is rooted in threats—sometimes threatening words, sometimes threatening behavior. Faith says, “I will not be traumatized by threats.
Much of fear is rooted in threats—sometimes threatening words, sometimes threatening behavior. Faith says, “I will not be traumatized by threats. I will act wisely, not fearfully. I believe God will prevent whatever the threat is from ever coming to pass. And if the threat does come to pass, I believe God will help me deal with whatever is thrown at me.”
When Saul, king of Israel, realized that God had taken His hand of anointing and blessing from him (because of his arrogance and disobedience) and had placed it instead upon the young man, David, he was furious. He began a campaign to find David and kill him—to remove this threat from his life (1 Sam. 19). On the other hand, David felt threatened by Saul’s army and on several occasions feared for his life. But Scripture tells us that David was strengthened by God’s promises to protect him and one day make him king of Israel.
In our modern world, we often read of people who, in spite of intimidation by disease, accident, or danger, pressed ahead to uncertain outcomes—rejection, defeat, and, yes, sometimes victory. Arctic explorers, Olympic athletes, missionaries, venture capitalists, and philanthropists come to mind. So threats do not have to stymie and cripple us.
Our challenge in times of threat is not to focus on what might become a reality, but rather, to focus on what we can count on being true.
Many people are living under a dark cloud of threat today. Some are experiencing the threat of disease, some are facing the threats of injury to their children, and some are hearing threats related to the loss of their job.
The answer to all these types of threats is faith in what we know to be true about God and about His love and care for us and His ability to provide for all we need—especially His peace, which can help carry us through anything.
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