An old scenario goes this way: fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there. In truth, the answer to worry and fear in all their forms is faith in God.
George Müller, director of a network of orphanages in nineteenth century England, could have wasted much energy worrying about how he would provide for the two thousand orphaned children under his care. But instead he operated on the faith principle. He refused a salary and trusted that his material needs and those of his orphanages would be met entirely by seeking God in prayer. And do you know what? That is just what happened. Müller once said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
Similarly, Neil Anderson defined courage as “making the choice to walk by faith and do what’s right even in the face of fear.” He added, “Being alive and free in Christ doesn’t mean that we will never feel fear. It means that such fears no longer have any power over us if we exercise our faith in God.”5
The Scriptures teach us that “perfect love expels all fear” (1 John 4:18). We acquire such love “as we live in God” (verse 17). This means exercising faith and growing in faith over time. In this way, we can even cease to be “slaves to the fear of dying” (Hebrews 2:15). Imagine that—no fear of death!
Faith is not the risk it seems. Our faith has a solid basis because the One whom we trust is all-powerful and cares about us. We can be free from anxiety and full of joy because, as Philippians 4:5 (niv) says, “The Lord is near.”
John Edmund Haggai, author of How to Win over Worry, commented on that verse.
A literal translation of Philippians 4:5b shows that the verb is missing—“the Lord near.” No verb was needed. It is abrupt, staccato. It is a bolt of light. The awareness of His nearness gives great calm in the storm and stress of life.
Living in the awareness of that fact brings about a behavioral change that cannot be explained in human terms. It’s often the only major difference between a defeated Christian and a victorious Christian. Fortune may have eluded you. Professional success, which you have sought so laboriously, may have slipped through your fingers. Love may have betrayed you. All these may be true. But the Lord is near! There is no mockery in that statement.6
Do you want more faith that the Lord is near to you for help? If so, you are not alone in that desire. A father who sought Jesus’ healing power for his son said to Jesus, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). The disciples likewise one time appealed to Jesus, “Show us how to increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
The apostle John wrote, “We are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for” (1 John 5:14–15). Surely having faith is in line with God’s will. So if we ask Him for it, He will give it. We’ve got His Word on that.
With the Spirit’s supernatural enabling, you can be a person of greater faith and you can shed your fear habit for good. Let the healing in this area of your life begin now.
The preceding article is an extract from Chapter 10 of Soul Prescription by Bill Bright and Henry Brandt.