How do you battle fear?
How do you battle fear? Genuine question; I really am curious!
Personally, when Jesus walks on water in Matthew 14 22-33, I see a blueprint for putting on the armor of God and battling fear.
Jesus sends his disciples before Him into the sea of Galilee. He knows what is to come and yet he sends them anyway. By evening the disciples were in the eye of the storm. Jesus then appears to them by walking on the water.
When he was seen, the disciples thought he was a ghost and became afraid. Jesus then speaks to his disciples, “Take courage, I AM. Do not be afraid.”
Can you picture it? The wind and waves are tossing the boat about and in the middle of the storm. Mist is probably hanging in the air above the heavy waves. The moon is full and bright because it is passover. And Jesus is calmly walking toward them on the water… No wonder they thought he was a ghost. How do you battle fear?
From the moment Jesus speaks, groundbreaking things happen.
Peter listens to the Lord’s instruction and responds, “If it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus says, “Come.” Peter OBEYS and WALKS ON WATER to come to Jesus. HE WALKS ON THE WATER with JESUS. Okay, I’ve read this verse dozens of times and yet I have only now registered the enormity of that. The miracle that it truly is. That by faith, Peter walked on the water with Jesus.
But immediately after he walks to Jesus on the water, he loses sight of the Lord when he sees and feels the wind blowing him off course. Afraid again, he cries out as he begins to sink, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reaches out and takes a hold of him and says, “Oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got in the boat together, immediately the wind ceased. And the disciples worshipped him in awe, saying, “Truly you are the son of God!”
What can we learn from Peter’s actions?
The answer is pretty much in the question! Peter doesn’t simply say, “Okay, Lord” and then go back to minding his own business, overwhelmed and afraid.
Instead, He takes ACTION. Rather than resigning to the fear, Peter says to the Lord in his doubt, “If it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He seeks to AFFIRM that it is his Lord. Once Jesus commands him to come, he OBEYS the Lord’s instruction. Peter quite literally steps out in faith by stepping out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus.
But what happens next? Distracted by the wind blowing him off course, Peter begins to sink. But the Lord is ever faithful and delivers him. Peter WALKED on WATER and doubted still. How much more do we doubt? How much more do we fear? How do you battle fear?
Step out in faith today, friend.
Take courage. Be courageous, whatever that may look like for you. Remember the Lord’s sovereignty. He was. He is. And He is to come. He is sovereign. Focus your eyes on the promise and never doubt when the wind tries to blow you off course. When you struggle with fear, step out of the boat. Step out in faith, again, whatever that may look like for you. Live your promise by walking on the water. Fear does not define who you are. Scripture defines who you are. Remember who God says you are. Put on the full armor of God by remembering his promises to you.
What are some of his promises to you?
You are a CHILD of God (John 1:12).
You area FRIEND of Jesus Christ (John 15:15).
You are a TEMPLE of the HOLY SPIRIT (1 Corinthians 6:19).
It is no longer you but Christ who lives within you (Galatians 2:20).
God gives us a spirit not of fear but of POWER and LOVE and SELF CONTROL. (2 Timothy 1:7)
You area NEW CREATION (2 Corinthians 5:17).
You are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made (Psalm 139:14).
You are CHOSEN (1 Peter 2:9).
You arethe RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
You can do all things through Christ who STRENGTHENS you (Philippians 4:13).
You arecreated for good works which God PREPARED beforehand (Ephesians 2:10).
You are a branch of the TRUE VINE (John 15:5).
Thank you so much for reading today. I pray this touches your heart + encourages you to put on the whole armor of God. Remember who you are in Christ and what his promises for your life are!
I am also curious to know: how do you overcome your fears in the midst of trial? What verses bring you peace and comfort? What does stepping out in faith look like for you? How do you battle fear?