North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

(Part I of Fear vs. Faith)

The great psychiatrist, Dr. Smiley Blanton once stated, “Anxiety is the great modern plague.” Another psychologist says fear is the most disintegrating enemy of human personality. If this is the case, then we are in for a heap of trouble. Fear lurks at every corner. Fear for your children, fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of not having enough money for food, and fear for life. The potential for fear is everywhere. It’s important to know fear is one of the major tools used by the devil to make you worry about the future, your family members, and your general well-being. Is there any hope with all this fear surrounding us? Oh, but yes! To fear is to not know God and His provision. To have faith in God is to have the best protection from all evil.

The way to combat any fear in our lives is to have faith and to exercise it. How did Jesus gain victory over enemies and evil? Jesus did not fear, because he had faith. Faith that God was his father, faith that God was watching over him and guiding his steps, and faith God would ultimately protect from all things that would hinder His will. Real faith that God has you in His hands requires you to believe God has your best interest in mind. Knowing this, one is more willing to surrender themselves to God’s purposes. When a person trusts God with full assurance, there is nothing, I repeat nothing, that can stop God’s will. This is the confidence that comes with faith in God. Even when things are upset, or suddenly changed, we know that “all things” work together for the good because God is in control. Remind yourself of this. God’s desire is for you to be protected and experience peace from all worries, doubts, and fears. That’s why He tells us not to worry (Matt. 6:34).

A mentor friend in the ministry told me years ago, “The safest place to be is in the will of God.” When you’re confronting fear, safety is the number one concern. So, being out of God’s will is reason enough to be fearful. Refusing to follow God means you’re trying to control things. Forsaking God’s way means you trust your wisdom over God’s wisdom. The hedge of protection from God is strongest when you are being obedient. We open ourselves up to evil influences when we walk away from God. How thankful we should be for His mercy and grace; for it saves us from danger many times when trying to do our own thing.

Sometimes walking down the road of life, the future looks dark and grim. Pitfalls and evil lurk on the corners and in the shadows that follow you. You know the feeling. The fear that may accompany this feeling is ever present, but you should not let it overwhelm you. There is a way to dispel this fear. God knew fear would be a heavy weight on our hearts and minds. That’s why faith and positive thinking can do wonders! Victory in Jesus is accomplished by drawing near to God (James 4:8). You cannot remove fear alone. It takes God’s light to enter your soul and illuminate the shadows of darkness. When fear comes upon you; stop and pray. Just as surely will God’s hand find you in the dark, His hand will guide you on your way.

Some people have the misconception God is some big “eye-in-the-sky” waiting to strike us when we sin. God is watching over you alright, but with an eye of love. He understands when we become afraid. Like a mother watching over her newborn child, God protects and provides for His children. Perhaps one of the greatest verses we can claim as our own concerning fear is Psalm 34:4: I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” We must claim this! We need to get this! We need to believe this! God will deliver you from not some of your fears, but all of your fears. You must become a believer in God, your Heavenly Father. Do not be a fear-ridden person any longer. Embrace faith by confessing your sin and accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. This will help you become well in your mind and in your body. Fear will no longer control you and haunt you. Jesus will make you free, free indeed (John 8:36) of all negative forces that are holding you back from living a positive and abundant life.

Remember there are two enormous powers at work in this world—fear and faith. Fear is second only to faith. Faith, or believing as some say, is the most powerful of all forces. It alone is greater than fear. When faith is firmly held, it can cancel out fear every time. Faith works for anyone who truly believes. Train yourself and teach others to believe. The only sure medicine that can cure the disease of fear is faith. Faith in the good Lord!

Next week, I will present my Easter column, but in two weeks I will give a classic example of faith vs. fear and the procedure to draw upon the faith you have. Until then, take heart in this verse: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). Go to church and worship this week, find one to attend every week, and follow God in all your ways.

This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Apr 1 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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