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Faith Over Fear: Is It Really A Choice?

We’re Not Supposed to Fear…Right?

As Sunday school was winding down to a close, us kiddos were gathered round the blackboard to receive our next Bible memory verse assignment. 

I was filled with dread as one of the teachers picked up a piece of chalk and began scribing. 

Oh, how I loathed this part of Sunday school. I found memorization to be such a drag. 

But, as much as I resented this task, I always found myself stepping up to the challenge each week. I mean, I couldn’t dare pass up one of those glittery star stickers next to my name for a “job well done.” (Plus, heaven forbid one of the other kid’s sticker count surpass my own.)

As the teacher finished jotting down the verse, I was giddy with excitement as I read:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

Yesssss! I thought.

The pressure was off. I already had that verse down pat. 

Feeling Guilty About Fear

I was an anxious child who struggled with worry. A whole heck of a lot.

Desiring better for me than anxious-ridden thoughts, my parents intentionally drilled Joshua 1:9 into my brain. They played “be strong and courageous” and “do not be afraid” on repeat like a broken record.

Before long, I could recite this verse on demand, no problem. 

But the thing is, while I knew the words backward-and-forward, they never actually make me feel any better.

Sure, I could regurgitate the verse, but it never really seemed to help me worry any less. 

In fact, sometimes the verse even piled onto my already heavy emotional baggage. It added guilt on top of my worry because I thought my struggle with anxiety meant I lacked faith and wasn’t a “good Christian.” 

I mean, my parents and other Christians made it extremely clear that we weren’t supposed to be afraid.

“God will be with us no matter what happens in this life, so we don’t need to be anxious,” they’d say.

But it felt like I couldn’t help it. 

I tried (man, did I try, and ohhh, how I longed) to “not be afraid.” When I started to feel anxiety creep in, I’d recite the words over and over to try to dispel the angst I felt inside.

But fear always seemed to win out.

Can you relate, Friend?

Fear Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Some of us struggle with anxiety more than others. Personally, I’m wired to be a bit more anxious, so I know this struggle well. 

As I mentioned above, I used to feel guilty when fear would pop up in my life. I thought that fear was an emotion I was supposed to avoid like the plague in order to be a “good Christian” who was strong in my faith.

However, over the years, I’ve learned fear itself is not a bad thing.

In fact, fear can actually be a good thing.

For starters, God designed our bodies to feel fear to help us avoid real dangers that are a threat to our physical well-being. In addition, fear can also be a helpful tool to clue us in on the fact that we’ve placed our hope in something other than God.

However, while fear itself is not always harmful, our minds can take us to a pretty “unhealthy” place (e.g., anxiety, overwhelm, or panic) if left to their own devices.

For example, sometimes our minds obsess over dangers that aren’t real, actual threats. Other times, our brains run wild with destructive thought-patterns, such as ruminating over “what-ifs” and coming up with potential worst-case scenarios.

Well, ok, Rachael. So, maybe fear isn’t all bad. 

But, how can we keep our minds and emotions in check to avoid spiraling into harmful emotions like anxiety, overwhelm, and stress?

If you find yourself wondering this question, this video’s for you. 

In this video, I explain in more detail:

  • Why fear is not always a bad thing
  • The difference between “healthy” and “unhealthy” fear
  • The importance of guarding our thoughts
  • How we can use fear to our advantage

The struggle with fear and anxiety is real, Friend. But we don’t need to sit back and let it rule over us. 

If fear and anxiety is something you personally struggle with (like me), make sure to keep an eye out for the next 4 videos in this “Peace Over Panic” series. 

In the upcoming videos, I’ll be sharing some helpful tips and practices to help you reign in fear and anxiety and ultimately win back more peace.

Dealing with Fear - Peace Over Panic Series: Part 1

Additional Resources: 


Free Daily Gratitude Journal: Before you leave, don’t forget to nab a FREE copy of my daily gratitude journal.


Here’s another read on reigning in fear and fighting off anxiety: 4 Tips to Avoid Spiraling into Panic.

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