Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.Romans 5:1-5 NIV
Let’s be honest, when it comes to suffering, even though we know God promises it will develop character through perseverance we avoid it like the plague. We don’t want to suffer and we certainly don’t want to see our family members suffer. In fact, if we had to choose, most of us would take on pain before letting our kids endure for a minute.
Why do we avoid perseverance? According to the VIA Institute on Character, it’s because we don’t do a great job with creating boundaries. Sarah’s story of Perseverance and Pitfalls reveals that burnout is a real possibility without appropriate boundaries.
Another reason we avoid perseverance is because of past experiences. Once you have walked through a challenging season you know the heartache that often accompanies growth. That fear of pain, hurt, or even the unknown is holding us back from fully engaging in our relationship with God and growing deeper in knowing him and the fullness of his love.
That may sound counter intuitive, however the bible is full of stories of people leaning into God rather than on their own strength. These are the men and women called to lead God’s people in their most difficult times. Joshua, Jeremiah, Daniel, Esther, and Paul are just a few people whose stories we can learn from as we build the courage to fight fear.
Thankfully, we live in time when there are a ton of tools we can access to help us along the way. I’m listing a few suggestions to help you to arm your toolbelt today so the information you need is accessible when you need it the most.
Support to Fight Fear
Fight Fear by Reading the Bible
There are encouragements to cling to God all throughout the Bible.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.Hebrews 13:5-9 NIV
Paul wrote letters to different churches while he was in prison. He knows what he’s talking about when he write about perseverance developing character.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.2 Timothy 1:5-12 NIV
Fight Fear by Hearing Positive Words
Worship music is always a great way to stay focused on God. I love this worship playlist from Coaches’ Wives Ministry!
Fellow Coach’s Wife Valarie Reynolds Recorded an episode for her podcast The Beautifully Enough Podcast called Breaking the chains of worry. There are SO many scripture references listed in this one you’ll want to have something for notes handy!
Fight Fear by Writing the Truth
Friday Night Wives created a special Write the Word journal for coaches’ wives this year. Be Still and Thrive is part of a new set of tools designed to encourage coaches’ wives to focus on deeper relationships with God and their spouses.
Each page has a Scripture prompt to write along with Today’s Truth, Today’s Gratitude, and Today’s Prayer. Whether you use a journal or simply look up scriptures and write them out, there is a something that happens when we write words. The connect differently than when just say them.
Fight Fear with a Devotional
Whether you look at a daily guided devotional like First 5 or The Glorious Table to ensure you spend the first part of your day with God or you find a devotional that intentionally focuses on fighting fear, the point is that sometimes we need a little guidance to help us open up the Bible and that’s perfectly fine.
Check out this 5-day devotional Anne Rulo wrote specifically for the days we’re sending our kids to school.
Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head study on Right Now Media @ Work was also a great way to focus on the book of Philippians in a different way.
Another study I’ve found very encouraging in this dark season of isolation is Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons along with the Guided Companion.
Fight Fear by Talking to Someone
Finally, we have to talk to people about what’s running around in our heads. It’s okay to ask hard questions and wonder about scary things. We’re facing unknown times and we aren’t supposed to walk through life alone. God created us for relationship with him and each other.
Choose those you confide in wisely, but don’t be afraid to confess your fears, your wounds, and your disappointments. Share them with God as well. But when you need extra encouragement reach out!
So there you have it! Five important tools you can use to arm your tool belt to fight fear. You have support around you right now. You aren’t alone. Remember, not only are Jesus followers not supposed to live in fear, but God gives us the strength to live boldly with him.
What are your favorite ways to fight fear? Did I miss something? I’d love to keep adding resources!