Overcoming the Fear of the Unknown
Micca Monda Campbell

"Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before." Joshua 3:4a (NIV)

Do you have a fear of the unknown? If so, then you know how nerve-racking it can be. Fearing the unknown can cause us to live on pins and needles as we spend precious energy anticipating the worst-case scenario. There are two problems with this type of fear:

1. The future is not here.
2. The future is not ours.

While the future may be out of our hands, it's not out of the hands of an adequate and trustworthy God. When we face a worrisome unknown situation, we can look to Joshua as an example.

It's recorded in the first chapter of Joshua that before Moses died, God passed the baton of leadership to Joshua. The Israelites had been wandering in the desert for 40 years under the guidance of Moses. Now, their journey was almost over. Just beyond the Jordan River was their promised land—the land that God had guaranteed to Abraham and his descendants.

Upon reaching the Jordan River, Joshua and the Israelites set up camp by the stream and awaited God's direction. Much like their meeting with the Red Sea, God had to make a way for them to cross over the river. On the third day, God told the officers to instruct the people that when they saw the Ark of the Covenant (where God's Presence abided) to follow it because they had "never passed this way before" (Joshua 3:4). In essence God was saying, Follow Me and I'll see you through this unknown territory.

That's not all. The people were instructed on how closely they should follow the ark. Without this instruction, the people would have crowded the ark and God wanted every person to be able to see His presence ever faithfully leading them through the unknown valley. What greater encouragement could they have than this, that the Lord was their God, a God who was with them?

You see, friend, the Lord understands our fear of the unknown. He realizes that you may be in a situation that you've never passed through before and you're afraid. It may be the first time you've been without employment. Maybe you've just been diagnosed with an illness or your child is in rebellion. You've never been down this road before and you don't know which way to go or what to do. God will guide the way.

Joshua's life was unpredictable and full of unknowns much like yours and mine. Yet, he successfully resisted fear by keeping his focus on God rather than the events surrounding him. Just as God guided the Israelites through unknown territory, He will guide you and me too. When we come to a place we've never passed through before, God is always present to help us.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Isaiah 43:2,3b, NIV).

Even though the children of Israel were not told how they would pass over the river, the people went forth in faith. We too can move forward in faith sharing in the promised presence of God leading the way through our unknown circumstances.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your promised presence. It comforts my heart to know that I am not alone. Lead me, Lord, through the unknown in my life. Make Your path clear and I will follow it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Micca’s blog – Reflections

Today’s devotion was taken from Micca’s book, An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger Than All Your Fears. Order your copy by clicking here.

Do You Know Him?

Application Steps:
The Bible calls us to walk by faith not by sight. God doesn't always give us the details we desire.

He does give us Himself. Believing is certainty that He's laid out a path and He goes before us.

Reflections:
Have you ever run from fear? Where and when?

Where did you find comfort from your fear?

How can God's promised presence soothe your fears?

Power Verses:
Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (NIV)

Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)

© 2009 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Jess said...

I think one of the difficulties I face is fearing not somewhere I've never walked before, but somewhere I HAVE walked before in similar circumstances that has been very difficult for me. In other words, I fear what has happened before will just happen again. But there your devotion still applies -- we still do not KNOW the future, and God is still in control. It is out of my hands, and all I can do is trust that He will make it better... use the things I learned from last time, and help me remember that He got me through before.

Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning! My husband is in buisiness for himself and although he has had a great year the last month he hasn't had any work. Yesterday I was overcome with fear. My faith was wavering. The Lord has always provided. It's so much easier to have faith in good times,but when hard times hit, you want to be able to see the future. You want to be able to know that jobs are coming. That you will be able to pay your mortgage. I have to remember to lay my burdens at his feet. He will take care of rest! He always has!

Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder that God knows where He is leading us and will give us the tools, the strength, and the knowledge to complete the trip (or task.) I read this as I was obsessing about an upcoming medical screening, fearing the worse rather than anticipating God's best. Praise God he will be there ahead of me every step of the way.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotion. It has hit home. How comforting to be reminded to never lose focus.I had allowed fear and anxiety to creep into my life.But God is great and He knows what I am going through, He made you write this devotion and I feel its specifically meant for me. You see my employment contract comes to an end at the end of this year. Come next year I don't know where I will be in terms of employment, more so whether I will have a job or not. In my blindness and deafness I had listened to satan's lies. Thank you for reminding me that God is in control and I must not get in his way by worrying. I rebuke all doubt, all negative thoughts in the name of Jesus. I choose to focus on my LORD God who is my Alpha and Omega, the author and perfector of my faith. I only need to trust in the LORD, who already has plans and purposes for me.
Haleluja!
CT

Anonymous Marissa Valle said...

This same very topic was my little talk with God, Thank you Lord for showing me that you are so ALIVE and in control! I am walking into new adventures for God but fear came in, just a bit, but God came in and showed Himself through you, He always wins...Thank you so much for posting this post...I needed to hear this, Today! God Bless you

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was just what I needed. It's funny how God has continued to place the same verse infront of me over and over again. (Isaiah 43:2) I am fighting to get out of an abusive relationship and dealing with the death of a parent and I have never felt more weak and hopeless and God is constantly reaching down and holding me up. I thank God for the encouragement I recieve from this devotion. I need it more today than ever.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Thank you so much for writing this, Micca! The timing was perfect for me! I just made a big decision last night and then became worried about the unknown! So glad that God will guide me! Blessings, Ruthanne

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I needed today - I have a diagnostic mammogram next week and I have been so filled with fear. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the devotion today. I have been ill for a while now & have been finding myself getting anxious at times. I was reminded today that I don't need to be-in fact I should not be afraid, anxious/worried about my kids and family during my illness or if another hospital stay will happen. God knows all about me and family and He will do what is best for us. I don't need to fear because He is control. I really need to live this truth out in my life.

Thanks again for such a relevant devotion!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotion. I am a temporary employee, and have had my contract extended. We need health insurance benefits as I am currently paying COBRA. And the government subsidy ends December 1, so I will be responsible for 100$ of the fee rather than the 35% I have been paying since COBRA took affect. I am trying to not worry about the unknown and this really hit home to me today!

Blogger danni_marie said...

This is amazing! I'm so happy to have heard of this site! It is the perfect way to get a dose of the Lord's word while I'm at work! :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my this hit home today...we are in the same situation - beginning to pay for cobra 100% and only until the end of FEB - we need to find insurance we can afford.
The Lord is in control...and orders our steps..Thanks for the reminder once again today...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. I think this was written for me!!!

Anonymous Victoria Hage said...

Is. 43:1-3 have been my life verses since my diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer to my bones 4 years ago. As a fairly young (36) woman, wife and mother of two (ages 5 & a 7), this exact 'fear of the unknown' has been a nagging issue with me. Four months ago I was officially declared cancer-free...then 3 days ago the call came, after a regular scan, that it appears as though the cancer has returned. Once again I am in the 'waiting room', but fully confident that God is with me in these rough waters. Thank you for your obedience to share...it was confirmation from the Lord that I personally needed to hear. I am now standing in the ring with my pink boxing gloves on knowing that God will carry my through and give me the fight that I need to deal with this head on and take authority over the fear that wells up within me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was extremely interesting for me to read that blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

Anonymous Shelley C said...

Sometimes, it's during trying times that I easily forget God's promises to those who love Him. Fear takes over, and all I see is gloom and doom. I'm so grateful for this Word, for it comes at a time when I really need to have more faith and say "NO" to thoughts that try to control me by telling me that I'm not going to make it.
Thank you for sharing this powerful message.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its easy for me to comment that its not my will by the will of the Lord. Then when fear crepts up, I start relying on myself to figure out what is going to happen and prepare myself for the worse. I cannot began to count how many times God has shown favor to me and all I have to do is trust. Thank you for this devotional.

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