Bishop T -Everton Thomas
You know what they say about FEAR as an acronym right? “False Evidence Appearing Real”. That sounds good when you’re safe on the shore but when you’re out in the deep with no boat and you can’t swim, it’s a different story. The evidence becomes real. Just ask Peter.
One glimpse of his circumstances gave him a dose of reality that that contradicted his faith. And even in the presence of Jesus, he began to sink.
How are you handling this pandemic? Do you feel like you are sinking? Where do your thoughts wander? What is your response? Are you worried about you and your loved ones becoming infected by Coronavirus? Don’t be quick to say no just to show that you are child of faith standing on the Word of God. Peter was like that. In Matthew 14:28 Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. Peter had a lot of talk. And notice that at first, when Jesus said “come”, Peter stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water until… until he looked at the storm instead of the storm controller, and began to sink.
What’s interesting here is that Peter ended up back in the boat but the Bible never said that Jesus picked him up and took him there. So how did Peter get back in the boat; We don’t know. But could it be that he had a shot of faith and overcame his fears once Jesus reassured him that He was there for him, and that reassurance made him complete the water-walking test that he had just failed?
If you are struggling with doubt and fears today, the Lord wants to reassure you that He is there for you. He wants you to overcome every one of your fears. So like He said to the disciples in Mark 6:50, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Don’t be afraid of COVID19. Take courage and take caution. The noun caution can be used to describe something that calls for careful action and the need to avoid risk. So take courage, God is with you. But take caution. Do not put yourself in harm’s way.
Steps to Overcoming Fear
1: Remember that God will never leave you
Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
2: Trust in God
3: Seek the Peace of God
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
4: Be filled with love
God is love and those who follow God must also be filled with love. If we want to get rid of fear, we must replace it with something. If we keep our minds empty, fear can easily return.
In I John 4:18 we read: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
5: Fear God instead
There’s a type of fear in the Bible that is completely opposite to the spirit of fear. It is the fear of the Lord. It is the type of fear that is encouraged in the Bible. Every Christian should have this fear.
If we are to get rid of fear, we must replace it with the right type of fear. In the Bible, there are a lot of passages that commands us to fear God. Let me share just some of them:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this iman’s all (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
But what does fearing God really mean? Fearing God means that we must respect and revere Him.
6: Be strong and of good courage
When Moses died, Israel lost a great leader. Now, it was time for Joshua to take the baton. However, the Israelites were afraid. They didn’t know whether Joshua would have the same authority and leadership as what they saw in Moses.
During this time, Joshua needed encouragement. The people were afraid and they also need an assurance from God. In Joshua 1, you will see the command, “Be strong and of good courage” had been repeated three times, signifying finality.
We read one of them: “Have I not commanded you? BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE; do not be afraid, nor be (Joshua 1:9, compare verse 6 and 7).
7: Pray to God One of the best ways to overcome fear is to simply surrender all your fear unto God. Psalms 34:4 tells us: “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”