Don’t Face Your Fears, Face Jesus

Do it afraid.

That was my mantra at the end of 2016. I was tired of being held back by my fear of not being enough. Not good enough, dedicated enough, successful enough. Those thoughts ricochet through my mind constantly, but I had had enough. I was going to step out anyways. I was going to do it afraid.

And then I picked up Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie from PurposefulFaith.com.

Have you ever read a book that held such a powerful message that it reached into your soul and changed your entire life? That’s what the message in Kelly’s book did for me. It showed me that I didn’t have to do it afraid. I didn’t have to face my fears, but I could keep my focus on Jesus and place my faith in Him. A message she reiterated as a Candid guest here on our blog last week.

When You Face Your Fears

Don't do it afraid, do it in faith.

The whole thing reminds me a situation the apostle Peter found himself in, (you are probably familiar with the story). In the middle of the night, the disciples were all on a boat, crossing the sea, and Jesus came to them walking on the water. Peter saw Him, he faced Him, and when Jesus called, Peter walked on the water too. But when he took his eyes off Jesus, when he shifted his focus and faced his fears, that’s when he started to sink.

Peter was already doing it. He was on the water. Jesus had clearly called him, and he had stepped out in faith. But when he shifted his focus from Jesus to his fears, that’s when things went wrong.

Jesus didn’t respond by telling Peter to do it afraid. He didn’t encourage Peter to face his fears and overcome. No, Jesus asked, “Why did you doubt?” Jesus didn’t validate that Peter’s fears were real (they were), He didn’t affirm that what they were doing was impossible (it was), He questioned Peter’s focus.

I shared earlier this month that 1 Thessalonians 5:24 had become my life verse. It says, “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” When we remember that, we don’t have to doubt. If Peter had kept his eyes on Jesus, he never would have started to sink because of his fears.

So instead of doing it afraid–instead of facing my fears–I am going to run wholeheartedly after Jesus, and put all my faith in Him. And I would encourage you to do the same. Don’t do it afraid, do it in faith.

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Fear vs. Jesus

Did you know that most of us have fears we haven’t even pin-pointed yet? We can’t face them, because we haven’t identified them. And that’s okay. The truth is, we don’t need to focus on our fears at all. When God created the world, He didn’t plan for us to look around and be afraid. That wasn’t His goal. He created us to focus on Him; on His love for us.

“Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). That’s what God does for us. When we know who He is, and how much He loves us, we don’t have to fear. That doesn’t mean we will never fall short. It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen. It means that no matter what life throws our way, God is still on the throne, and He still loves us. God loves us in a way that is unchanging. Even if we stumble into sin, even if we turn our backs on Him, God’s love for us remains.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, 
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

~ Romans 8:38-39

Don’t Face Your Fears, Face Jesus

Thus, instead of facing my fears and saying I can do it afraid, I can face Jesus and trust Him in faith.

  • I can trust that even if no one reads my blog, God still loves me.
  • I can trust that even when I yell at my kids, God still calls me His own.
  • I can trust that even if God doesn’t help us make ends meet, He will still be with us.
  • I can trust that no matter what life throws my way or takes away, Jesus remains the same.

Now I don’t know where today finds you, but that truth sinks into my soul and makes all of my fears fade away.

It seems silly to be afraid when I remember just who Jesus is and what He did for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t stumble. I still get afraid.

I have to admit I am ever so thankful that when we do get distracted and turn toward our fears, Jesus is there to rescue us. When Peter got afraid, when he started to sink, he called out to Jesus, and Jesus was there to lift him back up. That’s what Jesus does for us. He makes it so we never have to be afraid, but He’s also there for us when we fear anyway. But instead of trying to face our fears, we can rest our spirits in the truth that God is faithful, come what may.

Do you struggle with fear?

I would love to hear your thoughts on how to handle fear, or what fears you struggle with in the comments below.

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44 Comments

  1. Wise words, Heather. Thanks. Fear itself may be the biggest fear we battle—it is for me. True, we don’t have to, or even deserve to be afraid, but “You will be” (as Yoda said), I like the “do it afraid” reminder because there’s something more important than my fear…facing Jesus…so right!

  2. Loved Fear Fighting and how you highlight the lessons here! Yes, that phrase “do it afraid” always bugged me. You brought out why, and I love how you reorient like Kelly did- do it in faith. The illustration about Peter is also so true. Here’s to fixing our eyes on Him who is fearless!

  3. Heather, I love the way you look at facing fear. This was a very insightful and encouraging article! Leslie, a neighbor at Grace and Truth : )

  4. Hi Heather! Fear is a Goliath, isn’t it? ANd girl, I agree wholeheartedly that there are fears we’ve yet allowed the Lord to uncover. Each time He shows me one, I’m astounded, surprised that I’ve carried it “that” long without even a clue. And Kelly’s book? So.so.SO.good. Best wishes in the contest. I’m plugged in there as well, rooting for all us, asking for God’s good and perfect will to prevail. Blessings from By His Grace Bloggers.

  5. The only one who can face the fear giant is our Lord, who defeats it every time!

    Thank you for sharing Grace Girl! 🙂

  6. Love this! You hear so much about facing our fears, but what we really need to do is as you said… Face Jesus! Then He will take care of our fears! Excellent advice! Blessings!

  7. Love your words and encouragement, Heather. I’m a “do it afraid” girl too and it can be overwhelming at times, but as you said, looking to Jesus and believing in the strength He has cultivated within us and makes available to us, makes the world of difference!

  8. Don’t face your fears bur face God, and do it scared!!!! I love them both!!!! This was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for writing this.

  9. I feel like God’s been telling me to make a heard decision in my life right now, right when I feel like I need money because i have so much bills and deeds he’s telling to leave my job and trust his will I thought it was just me at first but my pastor and my leader confirmed it for me already and it’s been really heard for me to ignore it I’m really afraid on making this big step but I can also keep reminding myself all those times that God is been there for me and that never left me even when I felt he did.

    1. Taking steps of faith can be scary. I can’t imagine what Peter felt like getting out of that boat. Was he 100% full of faith, or was there some fear in him? We’ll never know. All we know is that he did it anyway. And with his eyes fixed on Jesus, he walked on water.

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