Faith to Triumph Over Every Fear
October 14, 2021 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Are you struggling with fear—fear of disease, of losing a loved one, of rejection, of financial ruin, of persecution, of losing your job, of loneliness, of letting God down, of climate change, of war, of economic collapse?

Have you become discouraged from the media’s never-ending bombardment of fear messaging? Are you looking for a solution, for peace, for security?

Then, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2, 3 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Jesus came to Earth, revealed God’s love to us, overcame every temptation, and despite being tortured to death, He would not turn back, would not give up, would not quit—but for the joy of saving you and me, He stayed the course, overcame the pain, resisted the taunts, despised the shame, and triumphed over every obstacle to reach us with God’s love and saving grace!

And Satan hates Jesus—and he also hates what our Savior has accomplished. Because Satan can no longer attack Jesus, he now attacks those whom Jesus loves—you and me.

Satan is described as a roaring lion prowling around looking for people to devour (1 Peter 5:8). And what does a lion’s roar do? It incites fear—and fear causes us to freeze, to stop thinking, to run and hide, or to fight. All this is Satan’s goal. Our ancient enemy wants to get us to stop thinking, stop reasoning, stop living out God’s methods of truth love and liberty and to become mindless pawns who will embrace Satan’s methods and do whatever we are told just to be “safe,” even if that requires we violate God’s will and standards; or Satan seeks to incite fear to cause us to run and hide, to close our churches, stop our ministries, cease our fellowship; or deal with the fear by embracing his methods and fighting with his weapons of lies, coercion, violence, and force—all designed to make us feel in control, powerful, and safe.

But we can never find true safety in sin, in selfishness, in practicing Satan’s methods. We will never find real security in this world because Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). And even “though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NIV84). We find safety only in Jesus, and as His people, we advance His cause only by wielding the weapons of God—truth, love, and liberty—the truth about God, presented in love, while leaving others free. We seek to win hearts and minds, not force behavior.

The only way we do this is by keeping our eyes focused on Christ. We must stop focusing on the world’s propaganda, the pervasive “panic porn,” the corruption of this world. We must remember that “God has said:

‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5, 6 NIV84).

Throughout all human history, Satan has been attacking the people of God, but God’s faithful have triumphed over all the devil’s schemes. Hebrews chapter eleven reviews the history of some of God’s faithful: Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, and many more. They all suffered, yet they kept their eyes focused on Jesus—and they were not overcome! They knew a better land awaited them:

All of these people were living in trust, confident in God when they died. They did not receive all the things promised, but they understood them in their minds and rejoiced in their reality. And they openly acknowledged that they were strangers and aliens, and not part of this selfish earth. They were making it plainly known that they wanted a different land—a land of their own. And they didn’t want the land they had left, for they could have easily returned from where they had come. No! They were longing for a better country—a land free from selfishness, disease, death, crime and exploitation, where guards, police and security are no longer needed—they were longing for heaven. Therefore God is honored to be known as their God (for they value his methods of love, truth, and freedom) and he has prepared an eternal home for them. … All these people were commended for their trust in God, yet none of them received the fulfillment of all that was promised. But don’t get discouraged, for God has planned something much better for us: They and we together will be perfectly healed, and will rejoice together in the earth made new (Hebrews 11:13–16, 39, 40 The Remedy New Testament Paraphrase).

Today is our opportunity to join God’s faithful from all human history. When the enemy of God roars, when the fear is almost overwhelming, when the world’s solutions offer no hope, it is then that we must stop running and stand firm in our faith, lift up our eyes, and fix our minds upon Jesus—trusting Him with our lives, our fortunes, our families, and our futures, resisting the pull of this world; saying no to hate, no to revenge, no to violence; and allowing the love of God to cast out all our fear. It is then that we must live out what Jesus commanded: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” so that we will be fully healed sons and daughters of our Father in heaven (Luke 6:27, 28 NIV84; Matthew 5:43–45).

Yes, fear messaging is everywhere in this world—but our Savior has overcome the world. When the fear seems overwhelming, don’t trust the powers of this world; instead, trust Jesus and live out His methods in every choice you make!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.