Frank Herbert once said, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Much like oil and water, faith and fear cannot coexist together. Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 as being “certain of what we do not see.” It is an absolute belief that God is constantly working behind the scenes in every area of our lives, even when there is no tangible evidence to support that fact. On the other hand, fear, simply stated, is unbelief or weak belief. As unbelief gains the upper hand in our thoughts (in the mind), fear takes hold of our emotions. Our deliverance from fear and worry is based on faith, which is the very opposite of unbelief. We need to understand that faith is not something that we can produce in ourselves.
So how is faith produced? Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by every word of God.” With this in mind, it’s clear that fear is nothing more than an influencing spirit that doesn’t come from God. 2 Timothy 1:7 confirms, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
God is so good and understanding toward our weaknesses, but He requires us to go forward in faith, and the Bible is clear that faith does not mature and strengthen without trials. Adversity is not intended to produce fear, rather it is God’s most effective tool to develop and build strong faith. This pattern is evident in Scripture. God takes each one of us through fearful situations, and, as we learn to trust and obey God’s Word and allow it to saturate our thoughts, we find each trial becomes a stepping stone to a stronger and deeper level faith. It gives us that ability to say, “He sustained me in the past, He’ll carry me through today and He’ll uphold me in the future!” God worked this way in David’s life. When David volunteered to fight against Goliath, he said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). David knew the God who had sustained him through dangerous situations in the past. He had seen and experienced God’s power and protection in his life, and this developed within him a fearless faith.
I John 4:18 offers us this reassurance, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Think about it; experiencing and knowing His perfect love enables us to walk in fearless faith because we intrinsically, undoubtedly, and unwaveringly believe that the love of God never fails.
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13).