You may have heard that it was said, “Fear negates faith.” Faith gives us strength to walk in obedience to the word of God yet fear can hinder that walk. It paralyzes us.
When we fear, we’re believing our obedience to the word of God will result in something other than what He has promised. If we 100% believed the word of God to be true, we would not worry. We would not fear. We hear,
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,Psalms 91:9-10 NLT
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
But we feel, “What’s going to happen to me? Surely, I will die.”
I know that fear and unbelief can be very uncomfortable for us Christians. It’s hard for us to be honest , even with ourselves, about it. Being a ‘believer’ is the very foundation of our identify and security. Can you see why it would be difficult to admit our unbelief? Our entire salvation rests on believing the right thing. Admitting that we have fear and unbelief, can put us in a scary place that’s hard to reconcile with who we are.
So what do we do? We stuff it, hide it, perform and pretend that it’s not there. We don’t take the time to reason with the Lord and understand why this fear exists in our hearts. But the truth is, we all have unbelief and it’s okay.
Oh if we can muster up the courage to stand before Him, not hiding, with unveiled faces, how magnificent the transformation of our hearts will be. Bring our unbelief to his feet. (Inspired by 2 Corinthians 3:18)
Recently, I was in the midst of a group of believers where we prayed for my healing. It was powerful! I immediately felt restored and overwhelmingly loved and cared for by the All Mighty. Yet when I returned home alone, doubt started to creep in. “Did I just experience that power? Was that real? Could it be that I am healed or is this wishful thinking?” Sometimes, I find it so much easier to believe in God’s word concerning the afterlife, than to believe in his promises for life here and now.
I’ve battled with unbelief ever since that day of healing. I was unsettled so I kept myself distracted and did not find rest.
Finally, almost two weeks later, I took it to the Lord. (Yes, I can still be very hard-headed at times. It takes me a while.) After much back and forth, wrestling with the Lord, I receive it – His truth. I’d heard it before but this time I received it. It penetrated my heart.
Truth Abolishes Unbelief
You may have heard that it was said, “Fear negates and counter acts faith.” But I tell you that a power stronger than fear, called Truth, abolishes all unbelief. Once we receive God’s truth, we can no longer be convinced of the lie.
His word says:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
The word fear in that scripture is the Greek word Deilos. It means both fearful and faithless. Wow! Let that sink in – to live in fear is the same as living in absence of faith to God and his Word. Fearful = Faithless.
He has not given us a spirit of fear. The preceding verse in 2 Timothy says,
I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God.2 Timothy 1:6
The gift of God referenced by Paul in this verse is the gift of faith. We received the GIFT of faith from God yet it is our responsibility to fan the flame. We must practice walking out our faith so it can mature into full bloom.
This is why James says we should:
Refining Our Faith
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when ever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverence.James 1:2 NIV
Though we have unbelief, we walk closely with the Lord and the truth of his word will refine our faith.
God has empowered us to do this. We can walk out our faith step-by-step because he has not given us a spirit of faithlessness but of:
POWER (Dunamis in Hebrew: Ability, abundance, meaning, might, power and strength)
and of LOVE (Agape in Hebrew: Affection, benevolence, a Love-feast, and charity)
and of a SOUND MIND (Sophronos in Hebrew: Safe, sound mind, self-controlled, sober, and temperate).
We are safe to walk out his Word and exercise our gifts and abilities in love. That’s what faith looks like!