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Overcoming Fear in Troubled Times

by Dr. Craig von Buseck

Wars. Terrorism. Financial calamity. Racial strife. Climate change. Nuclear proliferation. The drug epidemic. There are many things happening in our world today that can cause us to fear. But for those who have committed their lives to Christ, God has provided precious promises in the Bible to bring peace in the midst of chaos.

The key to experiencing the peace offered by these promises is to go from merely reading the words to actually believing that the promises are for you. This assurance of peace comes as we grasp the reality of who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, then the Bible says His Spirit dwells with you, and you are “in Christ.”

The apostle John gives us some clarity when he writes: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” (1 John 4:18). The Bible says that God is love — He is perfect love. So when you invite God to be in the center of your life, and you invite Jesus to be Lord, you have perfect love in the center of your world. As a result, you can rest knowing that your Heavenly Father loves you and is watching over your circumstances. The perfect love that dwells inside of you casts out all fear.

Now, this doesn’t mean everything will always go well for you. Jesus made it clear that in the world you will have tribulation.” But then He brings the encouragement: …but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In this promise, Jesus mirrors the assurance of the psalmist who writes: Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).

There is no promise that bad things won’t happen in this world — that is not possible. Instead, we trust that God will be with us through both good and bad, and He will give us the strength to overcome any circumstance.

Standing on God’s Promises

The writer of Psalm 91 declares of God, His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4). This well-known chapter gives other comforting passages to strengthen our trust in the faithfulness of God toward whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High” (Psalm 91:1):

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence (Psalm 91:2-3).

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you (Psalm 9:5-7).

Overcoming Fear

Here are some other helpful promises from Scripture to help you overcome fear:

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

There are many more promises from God’s Word that you can hold on to for peace and strength in the midst of life’s struggles. But perhaps the most precious promise can be found in the words of Jesus: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). And that is a very comforting truth.

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Dr. Craig von Buseck is Editor of Digital Content for Inspiration.org.

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