Fear and worry are an ever-present part of our lives. No matter what religion (if any) you believe in, everyone struggles, on some level with fear and worry.
Whether it is generalized worries about life and the future, or a full-blown mental health crisis, fear and worry is a pervasive part of everyday life.
It has been said that there are 365 instances of “do not fear” (or its derivatives) in the Bible. That number strikes me as specific. There is a “do not fear” for every day of the calendar year. It’s as if God knew that left up to our own devices, we would struggle with fear.
Let’s explore three ways we can battle fear and worry.
Clarify the Cause
We need to get clarity on what the root of our fear and worry is. There’s no way to cure a disease if you focus on the symptoms without knowing what that disease is first. Different root issues need different prescriptions. And with fear and worry, sometimes the symptoms are not the root cause.
Here’s an example…if you’re worrying your child won’t get into college, you could be dealing with a variety of root causes. And maybe when you clarify the true fear, it may be that you are actually worried that if they don’t get into college, your extended family will think that you did a bad job of parenting. So it could be about your child’s education, or maybe it’s actually about your fears for your own reputation. These are two very different things, and it’s important to know what the root cause is.
I encourage you to slow down and take time to clarify the root cause of your fear and worry. It will be very illuminating. And when you figure it out, don’t make judgements about what that worry is. To start battling your fear and worry, you need a clear understanding of who your enemy is.
Search the Scriptures
Once you are clear on what is causing your fear, it’s time to search the Scriptures to understand God’s heart and plans for your life. God’s Word has so much value for our lives and I am constantly reading, studying and trying to apply it to my life. Oftentimes, I find God’s Word is not only relevant to my circumstances, but discerns the thoughts and intentions of my heart. And when I look into the mirror of God’s Word, I see not only my own faithlessness, but God’s abundant faithfulness to me.
Whatever the cause of your fear and worry, you can search Scripture for passages that speak to your situation. For many years I searched the Scriptures using a tool called the “Strong’s Concordance” or I used a study Bible. And I still use those tools sometimes. But we also live in the day and age of powerful web-based search engines. I love to remind people that one of the reasons God allowed Google to be invented is so we can find things in His Word even faster…so take advantage of it!
When you find Scriptures that speak to your situation, write them down and memorize them. The memorization part is huge and important. Because when you memorize Scripture, you will have immediate recall to fight against that fear and worry when it arises. And you’ll have less time and energy devoted to worrying, because your time is being invested wisely.
Simply Don’t Worry
This final key is special. Sometimes people allow seasons of fear and worry to become a reason to fear and worry more. Instead, see it as an invitation from Jesus to draw closer to Him. We need to learn how to introduce our fears to our God! Whenever we catch ourselves worrying, we need to call it out and see it as an invitation from Jesus to come to Him to find safety.
I cannot emphasize how important this tool is for us on life’s journey. Jesus is always inviting us to come to Him, especially when we are burdened, to allow Him to give us rest as He leads us in paths of righteousness and peace. So, keep on saying “yes” to Jesus!
Daniel Fusco is the author of Crazy Happy and You’re Gonna Make It: Unlocking Resilience When Life Is a Mess (Waterbrook; on sale 9/13/22). He’s also a church planter and lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington. His radio program, Jesus Is Real Radio, is broadcast across the country, and his TV show, Real with Daniel Fusco, airs across the globe. He also hosts the You’re Gonna Make It podcast. He and his wife have three children and reside in southwest Washington. For more information, visit him at danielfusco.com and facebook.com/danielfusco.