Learning to Fear Not
Zoe Elmore

"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

Healthy fear warns us of danger and prepares us to react appropriately. However, the type of fear referred to in this verse is an unhealthy fear. It gets in the way of what our heavenly Father has already given us: His power, His love and His self-control.

Unhealthy fear overwhelms us with doubt and insecurity; it drains our spiritual life and physical strength. It steals God's peace from our hearts, and robs us of joy in our daily lives. It causes us to become stagnant; unable to move ahead with the things God has planned for us. It's important to remember that unhealthy, paralyzing, controlling fear is not from God. It is one weapon our enemy Satan uses to interrupt, discourage and destroy our relationship with our heavenly Father.

Are you struggling with unhealthy fear? In 1 Samuel 17:32, "David said to Saul, 'Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him'" (NIV).

David could have cowered in the corner with an unhealthy, paralyzing fear at the thought of facing such insurmountable odds. Yet his confidence in God was so strong he actually volunteered to face the giant Philistine.

David saw his giant problem from God's perspective and knew he already possessed everything necessary to face his enemy head on (literally!). This confidence allowed him to rest in God's power and inexhaustible strength in order to defeat his enemy. Because David's reliance was not on himself, but on the One who supplies everything needed, the giant was defeated.

As we follow David's example and look at our giant problems from God's perspective, we have the same assurance that God's very presence will sustain us as we use the tools He has already provided.

For years, I battled unhealthy fear; I allowed it to interrupt my relationship with God and others. It stole peace from my heart and joy from my daily life. I now lean on the truths in Psalm 91:14-15, "'Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation'" (NIV). These verses have taught me the value of replacing fear with hope.

Friend, are you living with unhealthy fear? Are you ready to replace it with the courageous and confident hope that's found in trusting God alone? By placing our hope in God and not in our circumstances, we're able to alleviate unhealthy fear. With God, we can face any giant in our path with confidence.

Dear Lord, I praise You as my deliverer, my refuge and shield. When unhealthy fear arises, remind me of Your ever-present help that hides me in the shadow of Your mighty wings. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Moving from Fear to Freedom by Grace Fox

Visit Zoe’s blog

Fear-less” message on (CD) by Lysa TerKeurst

Trials for Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life by Janet Eckles

For extra encouragement, read No Need to Fear

Application Steps:
What present circumstances need your courageous attention?

How can you rest in God's power as you face them?

Use BibleGateway to search for "fear not," "do not be afraid," and "have no fear" verses. Read and meditate on one verse every day this month.

Will you choose to replace your unhealthy fear with hope in Christ as you face your present circumstances?

When faced with problems, do you rely on your own strength, or the One who provides what you need to conquer your enemy?

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 12:9a, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (NIV)

Deuteronomy 31:8, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (NIV)

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (NIV)

© 2010 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Zoe - God just spoke through you directly to me this morning. This is EXACTLY what I needed to be reminded of as I am letting an unhealthy (and stupid) fear paralyze me right now. Thank you.

Anonymous -Terri said...

Unhealthy Fear has been doing in my life exactly what you said it does. Stealing my peace and joy.
Thanks for reminding me that I don't have to let it do that to me.
I SO needed to hear this this morning.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God for your devotion today. I am self employed, very stressed, trying to do it on my own and God put me right in my place yesterday. My car was stolen!I have cried, trust me,because i have been living in fear about my business, etc...God is bringing me to my knees....Actually, in the last 24 hours i am at peace....I just released all my burdens to Him! Amen!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your devotion really hits home this morning..thank you for your words of encouragement. God does not give us a spirit of fear. He watches over the sparrows and even more so He watches over us. All we have to do is trust and Obey. I praise you Father for my trials and I praise You for bringing me to my knees and totally trusting You. Thank you God for leading my life.

Anonymous Ramona said...

Yes indeed, Fear is the most facture most of us fear, which is fear itself, thank you for sharring & reminding me, that it is "God" who holds my troubles & fears, Because without him, I can do Nothing! And with him I can do ALL.

Blogger Aimee said...

5 minutes ago I finished my Bible reading and writing in my prayer journal. I have been praying for peace, for help with crippling worry and fear over my health which is failing. In closing in my journal I wrote " I pray Lord that as I wait on you, knowing that you are here with me, that you might speak, your servant is listening" Although I was as still as I could be before the Lord, I didn't hear a thing! So I got up and came to check today's devotion. Can you imagine the overwhelming joy I felt upon reading it! Repentance, sorrow for the wrong things I have done and many tears, but joy, that God, who controls all things, saw fit to speak to me today and reminded me to "fear not". Thank you for the words that God chose to speak through you today.

Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Zoe, LOVE to hear your heart. I also love to see how God speaks directly to different people everywhere through the power of HIs Word. This verse is my theme verse for 2010! And boy, God knew I needed its message!

Not too long ago I read this quote:
"When Goliath came against the Israelites, the soldiers all thought, 'He's so big we can never kill him.' But David looked at the same giant and thought, 'He's so big, I can't miss.'"

That's the power of God you speak of! Love you, sis Zoe. Thanks for the dose of encouragement.


Anonymous Michelle said...

I am so excited to have found this devotion exactly when I needed it. We have 2 new businesses as our only source of income and I am the bookkeeper. I had never done anything like this, not even our personal taxes and feel totally overwhelmed with the learning of what seems to be a foreign language! Our businesses aren't doing well right now and that is a huge stress. We barely have money coming in and bills, taxes, credit card payments etc. stacking high! We also have 3 sweet boys. Anyway, I googled women's devotion and your link came up and the devotion was on fear! GOD IS GOOD!!!! Thanks.

Blogger Jessica said...

I am seeing a trend here... Like others, this is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thanks for letting God use you to speak to me today!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i live with some sort of fear everyday. My mind is always letting some comment or unspoke word or action fill me with fear so powerful that it does control my every thought i tryand pray to god for comfort and sometimes i feel at peace but most of the time i am just miserable. How do i learn to feel gods peace in those times??? i want so desperatly to be at peace and not fearful about everything but i just don't have the skills how i wish i could find them. thanks for your devoition and if you know of some "homework" i could do to learn those skills please share them...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am overwhelmed with thanks for this site that I just found today...I just decided to look up devotionals for women and this is the first site I was directed to...and boy, am I blessed and thankful. I am struggling right now with an extremely unhealthy sense of fear and worry..I know better - I know in my heart that God is in control and that He will protect me and keep me...but I am struggling to apply it to a situation in my life that is crippling me and stealing my ability to trust Him. Thank you for the reminding words tonight...I will focus on those verses each day!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Zoe for the devotion. Just for me. Thank you for taking on God's calling to bring His word to such people like me who really needed to hear God speak. I am struggling with an unhealthy fear regarding right now, and ouch how I have allowed this fear to steal my peace, my joy, my confidence! In my heart I know that God is in charge, but today all I wanted was to hear from my LORD!
I praise you LORD that you are my God. I have a God who cares for me, whose love endures forever, who knows my needs and knows what I am going through. This morning before coming to P31 I read and jotted down in my journal the Tim and Deut verses which you also have include! Thank you Lord for speaking so loudly and for caring for me! Hallelujah

Anonymous Kelli said...

I know this message was right on time because GOD has been wanting me to really begin telling others about HIM. My fear has always been what people are going to say and think about me. I'm embarrased to even admit that, but it's true. What I hear in my spirit though is that people won't hear me they will hear GOD. If anyone rejects me, they will not be rejecting me, but GOD. I am so ashamed of myself for even feeling this way and have already prayed to GOD for HIM to help me get over this fear of rejection and the possible negative thoughts and feelings of others. Please pray for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this encouraging and changing devotional! I have been struggling with a paralyzing fear that constantly attacks me and it really gets to be so hard for me because I don't want it and I know I can choose to ignore it but it constantly attacks my thoughts! I have prayed and prayed and GOD heals me daily of it but I still feel overwhelmed and this just truly spoke to me that I do not need to be afraid for GOD KNOWS BETTER AND HE IS BIGGER THAN ALL OF THIS! HE understands everything and after reading that verse I feel GOD showing me that HE hides me and all of us under the shadow of HIS WINGS where nothing can harm us or come agianst us, even our own thoughts! AMEN TO SUCH A POWERFUL REVELATION AND AN ALMIGHTY ALL-KNOWING LOVING ADORING GOD AND FATHER! :)

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