The believer’s greatest enemy in life is fear, because fear, in its least common denominator, is unbelief; and unbelief defeats the promises of God. Where we have fear, it handcuffs our ability to believe God. Proverbs 29:25 gives us the answer to overcome fear.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
We can build trust in God and overcome fear by receiving and acting upon right teaching and instruction from God’s Word.
Fear issuing in unbelief is due to either wrong teaching or ignorance. When we have been taught wrong, we may take wrong action rather than acting positively on the promises of God’s wonderful, matchless Word. When we are simply ignorant of what to believe or what action to take, we need instruction. Fear can be overcome with right teaching and instruction. Right teaching corrects wrong teaching; instruction corrects ignorance. When we look to God and His Word, we can overcome our wrong teaching and ignorance and, ultimately, our fears.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
When we seek guidance from God and His Word, we have right teaching, we have correct instruction, and we can confidently act and overcome fear.
Let’s take a look at Peter to see how he received and acted on instruction and overcame fear. After Jesus Christ was crucified, Peter and the other disciples were afraid.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews [Judeans], came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Peter was one of the disciples here assembled behind closed doors for fear of the Judeans. This was shortly after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter and the others were afraid of the Judeans because of what they had just done to Jesus. But Jesus, in his resurrected body, gave them right teaching and instruction to help them overcome the fear.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [holy spirit].
What right teaching or instruction did Peter and the others receive? Instruction regarding how to get born again. Peter gained confidence and trust by receiving this instruction from Jesus. Then, on the day of Pentecost, Peter trusted in and acted upon those instructions and received the gift of holy spirit into manifestation—he got born again and spoke in tongues. Peter was convinced of God’s power in him and that he had eternal life. Look how he changed from being afraid to being fearless—confronting those he had once been afraid of.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.
…let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Peter’s fear was overcome. He stood up in front of the same people he had been afraid of fifty days earlier and confronted them with the truth!
We can overcome fear in our walk with our heavenly Father as we trust Him and take action upon the right teaching and instruction in His Word. We can defeat our greatest enemy—fear. Let’s overcome fear today and every day by receiving right teaching and instruction and then confidently acting on the promises of God.