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Fear can be crippling. Fear can limit our possibilities. Fear can crush our hope.

Fear is one of the greatest tools that the enemy uses to keep us from the purposes of God in our lives. Today’s news is filled with terror, violence, hate, persecution and uncertainty. The enemy of our souls uses these realities to create insecurity and distress. If we allow it, fear can hold us back from stepping forward in faith. However, living as empowered disciples, we have every opportunity to forge ahead into the unknown future with a confident hope.

A few years ago, I had gotten to the point where I was immobilized by fear. Each time I received a text, each time an email popped up, each time the phone rang, fear of the unknown rose up within me. Thankfully, through several Holy Spirit-led encounters, that bondage of fear was broken as I began to turn to God as my love source.

I realized that only God’s perfect love will conquer all of my fears (1 John 4:18, NLT). So, I intentionally spent time in His love. Worship, prayer and soaking in His presence solidified my understanding of just how great His love is for me.

We as leaders, pastors, parents and friends have seen how fear limits those we love. Worry, fretting, uneasiness, anxiousness, numbness and even avoidance are common effects of fear. Any type of change, even positive change, can foster feelings of fear. I don’t know about you, but in my own life, uncertainty and fear of the unknown have led me down some intimidating paths.

When these feelings arise, what should we do? God’s Word graciously offers you and me powerful alternatives to these fearful feelings, or “voices,” reminding us repeatedly not to be afraid.

There is life in the words that we speak. Uncertainties will come. Trouble will come (John 16:33). But, living as empowered sons and daughters, we can encourage ourselves with God’s promises. Say these promises out loud with me. Let’s declare:

  • Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me (Ps. 23:4).
  • You hold me by the hand and say, “Don’t be afraid.” You are here to help me (Isa. 41:13).
  • I will not be afraid; I will stand still and watch the Lord rescue me today (Exod. 14:13).
  • I am strong and courageous! I will not be afraid and will not panic. For my Lord will personally go ahead of me. He will neither fail me nor abandon me (Deut. 31:6).
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7).
  • The Lord is my light and my salvation—so I will not be afraid. The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so I will not be shaken (Ps. 27:1).
  • I confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear” (Heb. 13:6).
  • God has given me His gift—peace of mind and heart. His peace is a gift that the world cannot give. So I will not be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).
  • God’s perfect love drives out all of my fears (1 John 4:18).

Let’s fearlessly embrace our future! If God goes with us, we can walk in confidence. If God is for us, then who can be against us?

Be bold. Be brave. Be loved. Be empowered to rise above fear today!

Prayer Point

Lord, I recognize that You “… gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7, ASV). I renounce any spirit of fear operating in my life. I ask You to reveal and heal any and all controlling fears hindering me and the enemy’s lies behind them. I desire to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

serves as co-pastor of Refuge West (Marietta Refuge Foursquare Church) in Marietta, Ga.