When confronted with mockery or verbal abuse from friends, family, or coworkers, Christians often find themselves standing against the tide of popular opinion. It may seem like everyone else wields all the power.
Attackers often have social consensus, majority support, politics, officials, and in extreme cases, even weapons backing them up. Throughout history, Christians have often found themselves seemingly on the wrong side of this power struggle.
Did you know that the most commonly repeated command in the Bible is “Do not fear.” God knows we are often tempted toward fear. The fearful situations we find ourselves in are not accidental but intentionally placed in our path by God.
Why must we face so much fear? If we never confronted fear, our faith would remain untested – mere head knowledge – and would never grow into the stature and character of Christ.
In other words, fear is the testing ground of our faith.
If you have even a basic knowledge of the Bible, you understand that, as Christians, there is truly nothing to be afraid of. God is sovereign over all things. He works everything together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). God is for us, protects us, and numbers our days.
However, there is a significant difference between knowing something in your mind and it becoming a part of who you are and how you behave under pressure. Only when we walk through fearful circumstances while choosing to trust God will we become the people we are meant to be.
How do you do that? Here are a few practical tips to keep in mind:
- When Man is Big, God is Small
The fear of man always means that God is small in our minds and that man is big. As Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear Him who can kill both body and soul in hell.” (Mathew 10:28) To overcome fear, make God “bigger” in your heart. Start by learning about God—His character, His promises, and His love. Immerse yourself in the Word, learn from the wisdom of those who have gone before you, and cultivate a grand, glorious vision of who God is as revealed in the Bible.
- Those Who Oppose God’s People Are Afraid Themselves
Consider the story of Herod the Great, who was so afraid of the potential of a baby (Jesus) that he ordered the massacre of all male children under the age of two. Those who oppose God’s people are often driven by their own fears.
Herod had all the power in the world at this time, yet he was terrified at the potential of what a baby could do to his reign. What does the world fear so much? The world fears the power of God, the very thing we innately possess, often without even realizing it.
- God’s Enemies Ultimately Serve His Purpose
Throughout history, we see that everything God’s enemies do only serves to further God’s purpose. This truth is most evident in the story of Christ and the cross. Never has history witnessed such relentless efforts to undo, demoralize, humiliate, and kill someone. Nothing was held back. Yet, despite everything thrown at Christ, all these efforts only propelled God’s glorious purpose and had a far more profound, powerful, and dangerous impact on the world.
- Only God Can Make You Bold
If you want to possess the unwavering faith displayed by exemplary Christians, whether from times past or present, it’s crucial to recognize that this kind of faith is a divine gift. Faith, especially during moments of testing, isn’t something you can manufacture or force yourself to summon.
Many Christians place such a heavy emphasis on faith that it becomes a mind game in which people attempt to conjure faith out of thin air. But this isn’t the biblical perspective. Faith is, fundamentally, a gift bestowed only by God Himself. It is a gift of grace and grace alone.
So, how can you receive this gift of faith? Start by asking. That is a prayer God always answers when sincerely asked. Continually seek Christ, even in the darkest of times, and hold fast to the truths and promises He offers.