I remember hearing someone state that fear and trust cannot co-exist. You will either find yourself in a place of fear or in a place of trust, but not both. I have continued to sit with this and mull it over. As I have continued to wrestle with this thought, I believe it comes down to where my focus and attention resides. Am I focused on my present issues or problems that are creating fear? Or am I focused on trusting my truth and The Truth?
When we focus our attention on the thing that produces fear, it can lead us into a place of more fear and anxiety, which is immobilizing. Fear loves to keep individuals silent and stuck. Fear can be debilitating. When we experience feelings of fear, our brains immediately go into protection mode. We begin to function from the emotion centre of our brain, the amygdala. It is hard to rationally solve a problem from this place because we are not using the part of our brain that allows for rational thought. This is why it is hard, and maybe almost impossible, for us to experience fear and trust at the same time.
If we focus on the promises we have in Christ, there is no room for fear because we are choosing to keep our attention on that which can be a comfort in times of struggle. When we are choosing to trust, we exercise our prefrontal cortex where we can make better decisions and problem solve. Trust can be difficult when we are looking at it from a place of uncertainty or lack of control. But when we stand firm in the Truth, with no strings attached, we will find rest and peace. Here are some of the truths that we can hold tightly to during times of fear and anxiety:
- Romans 5:8 – I am loved by God
- Ephesians 2:10 – I am God’s handiwork
- Psalm 145:18 – God is with me
- Jeremiah 29:11 – God has a purpose for me
- Proverbs 19:21 – God is in control
If you have noticed, none of the verses say, “I am loved by God if…” Or, “God is with me if I do or don’t do this…” There are no extra expectations. They are truths. Another truth comes from Joshua 1:9, which says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This truth speaks to the fact that God sees us as strong and courageous. He believes in our ability to trust in Him and take the steps moving forward. Again, there are no strings attached. He tells us to be strong and courageous because He is with us. If God believes that we can be strong and courageous, this verse can be a huge push of confidence to boldly move forward with Him.
I recognize that sometimes it seems easier said than done, especially when we find ourselves drowning or overwhelmed by fear. It can be hard to switch our focus, but I believe in the words of God that are spoken in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with ALL our heart and lean NOT on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” If He says He will do it, He will do it, therefore, we can believe it. When we are in the depths of the muck, mire and pain, it can be hard to shift our focus and trust… I get it. However, when we can shift from fear to trust, we gain the ability to hope. And little by little, we can gain the confidence we need to keep moving forward in His plans and His purpose.
There can be strength in acknowledging truths about God, and then applying them in specific situations. This can bring hope, clarity, even a fresh perspective in areas where you feel stuck. My hope is that you will hold onto truths about God in times of fear, uncertainty, worry and anxiety. There is rest and peace to be found in your journey through trusting Him more and more. And in finding this, you can continue to move forward in the life that God has for you.