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Faith Not Fear

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

I’ve wrestled with different types of fear my entire life. My parents separated when I was six. I had nightmares until I was in college related to the fear that many kids believe, and that’s that they are somehow responsible for the break up of their parents. Not true, yet many kids feel or have felt this way.

I was very sick and hospitalized when I was in second grade. In 1963 children were on wards and in beds next to each other, (at least it was my experience). The children on either side of me died. I became afraid of death. My brother died when he was 27 years old and I was 29. I became even more afraid of death.
I experienced a lot of other reasons to fear in my lifetime: car accidents, my own children’s illnesses, the death of friends, the death of other family members. The list goes on and on. I’m 56 now and I’m not afraid most of the time. Do I occasionally let my fears slip in? Yes. I’m not able to banish my fears completely, but I finally figured out that no matter how hard I try, in my human strength, I cannot keep bad things at bay. I don’t have control. God does. All I can do is the best I can do, trust God for the rest, and remember the mustard seed.

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20 NIV

So have faith, not fear. Peace, not fear. Trust, not fear. Hope, not fear.

In my counseling Bible, The Bible for Hope, NKJV, the introduction to Numbers talks about fear. The first paragraph states, “Fear can immobilize. Fearful people often do not think straight and run off in the wrong direction to escape the source of their fear. The world can be quite scary, and at times, Christians will become afraid. On those occasions, they can either run away from God, thinking that he cannot handle their fears, or they can run to God for protection.”

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.(King James Version)2 Timothy 1:7

I have a book coming out soon and that's exciting and scary and incredible. This is one of the most awesome seasons in my life and though I could allow my fears to run wild I've decided to let my faith run wild instead.

The next time you think about letting your fears run wild I encourge you to let your faith run wild. Wild and free faith like these horses even if that faith is as small as a mustard seed.

Questions: The last time you faced a fear, large or small, what did you do? OR When you face fear today how does it effect you and how do you combat it? AND/OR What's your favorite quote or scripture about fear?



  1. Since a near drowning incident when I was a small child, I've experienced claustrophobia and related panic attacks. An unpleasant experience involving a medical professional added the fear of doctor appointments, medical procedures and confinement, so when I developed cancer I was beyond dealing with it.

    Much of that time is a blur, but I kept remembering the scripture, “Pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thess 5:17-18) and that's what I did. I knew God was in control. I left it all in his hands. He knew my need and he provided the right people... people who recognized and understood and cared. Fear doesn't always go away just because we have faith, but if we have faith we can survive despite the fear.

    As the quip goes, "I survived, and I'm here to tell the story." :)

  2. Carol,
    I love this: "Fear doesn't always go away just because we have faith, but if we have faith we can survive despite the fear."
    Thanks for that!

    If you get a chance, Carol you may want to go visit Mike Dellosso's blog at He's been celebrating being cancer free for three years this month. My mom's a breast cancer survivor.

    I'm really glad that you're here to tell the story. Yeah!

  3. Jill, I love this post. We're in the same place, and I'm going to let those horses run too!

  4. Hi Rosslyn,
    It's an incredible rush of emotion isn't it? I wasn't quite prepared for the feelings as the time gets closer for the book to release.
    Maybe I should work on a non-fiction book and call it, Faith Running Wild. :) Hey, I like that.
    It's nice to have company on the journey.

  5. Wow Jill! You have been through some hard times. Thinking about the children dying on either side of you in the hospital was shocking.

    I honestly have had very little in the way of trials, with the exception of two miscarriages I had between 2006-2009. I think my fear of losing yet another baby stole away some of the joy of carrying my most recent baby born May 2010. I was afraid to plan or hope or dream about life with this new baby because I kept feeling she'd be stolen away.
    My favorite song during this time was "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" where the lyrics say "Blessed be your name when the world's all as it should be, when the sun's shining down on me....Blessed be your name, on the road marked with suffering, when there's pain in the offering..." I am reminded that I need to praise God irregardless of my circumstances and look to his strength in my weakness.

  6. You are the same age I am! And you look so young!
    My latest fear was public speaking but I didn't let it stop me last week. My next fear is working my new job alone and I hate that sometimes fear consumes me. Thank you for the great reminder. You sure went through some fearful times.

  7. Hi Lisa,
    I'd say those trials of the miscarriages were very difficult. I can't imagine the fear that must have been with you at times while you carried this last baby. I'm so glad you have your this little one with you. And I love that song too. Although I have to admit I hope to avoid that road marked with suffering as much as possible, there's been way too much.

    My hubby introduced me to a book I just love called, Life's Greatest Lessons, 20 Things That Matter by Hal Urban. If I could afford it I'd give it to every college student that walks through our doors at my workplace.

    On page 15 Hal Urban reminds us of an Ann Landers quote: "If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advise for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye, and say, "I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me."

    I love that. I would only add that we should pray our hearts out at the same time because ultimatley it is God that is bigger than our problems.

    Thanks for sharing your trials, Lisa, and may God richly bless your family.

  8. Hi Terri!
    You're so sweet. You made my day woman! Oh boy, public speaking, that's hard, in my opinion. I'm so glad you didn't let the fear stop you. Good for you! I still get nervous about public speaking and I was a member of Toastmasters International for five years! I always recommend this organization for everyone. It's great, check it out if you haven't already.

    I hope the new job works out great. Be a lion chaser! "Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase." I loved the book, "In A Pit With A Lion on A Snowy Day." Awesome stuff. Keep me posted on the job. I'll have to drop in on your website for the latest. :)

  9. I've been a Christian my whole life, but the last few years have brought me so much closer to God. When I have fears, I bring them straight to Him. What a relief and blessing!

  10. Hey Jill!
    Those fears can be insidious. If you can take them to God and leave them with HIM that is a blessing. I get caught up in accepting tenacious fears back now and then. I know I couldn't have made it through the last ten years without HIS comfort and grace.