In the middle of the night, our 9-year-old daughter came to us with desperate tears in her eyes saying she couldn’t catch her breath. Fear had gripped her, and it made my Momma’s heart ache like it never had before. As I watched and heard her gasp for air, all I could do was hold her and say the words, “Jesus, Jesus” while restraining my own flood of fragile emotions.
So right there in her bedroom, my husband and I listened, as she talked and cried. She spoke of the very real fears she was having in her thoughts, and then, there it was. She shared something with us that made us both say “Aha!” We see you, enemy. We see what you’re trying to do. You won’t win, because we already know Who HAS won and Who always WILL win. We prayed with our baby, and we prayed over our baby. We quoted Scriptures; she quoted Scriptures. We warred; she warred, and at times, all we could say was “Jesus.”
Fear is something we all deal with. I battle it in my own life. Sometimes it’s small, and other times it’s huge, but through it all there is a Scripture that has helped me tackle it. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” So how do we combat fear with these three things?
God has given us power.
There is power in the name of Jesus. When we spoke His name over my daughter’s fear, it left, and peace came. Philippians 2:10 says that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven AND on earth and under the earth. So, basically, every time you call on the name of Jesus…heaven, earth, and even hell bow. That’s power!
God has given us love.
1 John 4:18 says that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. Jesus’ death, his incredible act of love, took our fear. Loving our family, friends, and the people around us helps to deter fear in their lives and in our own lives. Steadfast love produces security, and security promotes peace. That night, our daughter never doubted that she was loved by me, by her father, and by her Creator. That love helped cast out her fear.
God has given us a sound mind.
To bring peace to our minds, we can tap into the Savior’s thoughts FOR us and ABOUT us by reading His Word, praying, and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Philippians 4:6-7 encourages us “to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” My husband and I encourage our kids to read their Bibles in bed at night, and to pray and give the Lord any burdens they are carrying. They even have worship music playing as they fall asleep. A sound mind brings unshakeable confidence in knowing that God will do what He says He will do, because He is faithful. Although our daughter read her Bible and prayed that night before she was suddenly awakened with fear, there was still a battle to fight, but we already had the weapons to win.
If you are facing fear in your own life or if you are standing in the gap for someone close to you…may I offer this. Write down and speak Scriptures over your situation. Say the name of Jesus. Say it firmly. Say it loudly. Not because Jesus needs to hear it, but because you really need to believe it. There is power in it. There is love in it. There is peace and comfort in it. There is healing in it. There is strength in it. There is freedom in it.
Overcoming fear isn’t always instant or permanent. Overcoming fear is a daily, lived-out process. There are times when I need my husband, a close friend, or a spiritual confidant to pray and walk me through my fears. There is no shame in that. Ask for help when you can’t do it alone. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Focus on His promises for you. Instead of living in fear, let’s live victoriously with power, love, and a sound mind!
Karen Harmon is a wife, homeschooling mother, and physical therapist. She is active in her church serving in worship, Propel groups, and media.