Faith over Fear

by Shirley Brosius

Times are tense. Just listen to the news. Wars, natural disasters, Coronavirus.

Will Covid-19 visit our town? Our family? It may. But I live by the saying printed across the front of my face mask: Faith over Fear.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Early Christians faced persecution that might have dampened their enthusiasm to spread the gospel. Paul encouraged his protégé Timothy not to be intimidated.

We too might be intimidated by frightening circumstances. We feel helpless against an unseen enemy. But I bolster my faith by remembering the truths of Christianity.

God is on His Throne. I’ve thought much about this as my husband and I navigate the senior years. Can we pray for wellness and expect God to heal us even in life’s final decades? Well, we pray, but we also know we are in God’s hands, experiencing an age and stage He has designed. Therefore, we rest in the assurance that He is in control no matter our age . . . and no matter the world situation.

When Job questioned God about his illness, God never “explained” things. He simply pointed out His Sovereignty over nature (Job 38:8-11 NKJV).

That same God governs nature today, from the most powerful waves to the most potent virus. So I remind myself God is in control. I pray and ask Him to halt the spread of the coronavirus. And I do my part by washing my hands and respecting boundaries.

God is with me. He has promised: “I am with you always, even to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NKJV). Like the old song says, you’ll never walk alone.

When I am in need, God may touch me through friends who offer assistance, through medical personnel who offer healing, through the wise counsel of others. His Spirit calms me as I look to Him in the night.

God uses all things to the Christian’s good. How might something called a “pandemic” be used for good? Perhaps it makes us more mindful of our blessings or forces us to interact more thoughtfully. Perhaps it brings us to our knees as we seek God’s good for ourselves and our nation.

We like to quote a verse that says God works all things together for the good of Christians. But the following verse reminds us that our greatest good is to be conformed to Christ’s image (Romans 8:29). And there’s nothing like tough times to offer opportunities to act and react more like Jesus.

God has greater things in mind than my personal comfort. I want a quick fix. I want “the answer.” I’d like to be healthy and happy and go my merry way without a care in the world. And perhaps without thinking about God. But facing challenges toughens us, builds our character, and makes us consider what purpose God has in mind for us.

God offers heaven if life on earth becomes unbearable. When I was a girl, I pondered a sign posted on the front of a local home that read: “Prepare to Meet Your God.” I have prepared my heart by embracing Jesus as my Savior, and I hope you have as well.

So I calm my worries by remembering heaven awaits—now or later. Eternal life begins . . . now.

These tenuous times call for discipline and commitment to live by God’s truths. By remembering who we are and Who God is, we slay the giant. We conquer fear with faith.

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Faith over Fear – encouragement from Shirley Brosius on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Shirley Brosius


About the author:
 An author and speaker from Millersburg, Pennsylvania, Shirley Brosius has written Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference and coauthored Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. She speaks at women’s events throughout the east as a member of Friends of the Heart, three women who share God’s love through messages, skits and song. Shirley has a daughter waiting in heaven, and she enjoys passing on inspirational thoughts and books to two married sons and five grandchildren.

You can find out more about Shirley at www.shirleybrosius.blogspot.com, www.shirleybrosius.com, or www.friendsoftheheart.us

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Join the conversation: Are you struggling with fear during this season of isolation?

Faith Over Fear

by Candy Arrington @CandyArrington

My mother was a fearful person. As a child, I learned not to approach her unannounced. At times, I’d forget to call her name or make noise before I entered a room. I’ll always remember the look of fear on her face and the way she jumped when I “sneaked up” on her.

As Mama aged, her level of fear increased. My father’s death–nineteen years prior to Mama’s–contributed to her anxiety. She worried constantly about finances, taxes, potential home repairs, the health and safety of her loved ones, and world events.

One day I mentioned something I read in the newspaper and a report I heard on the evening news. “I don’t read the paper anymore or watch the news,” Mama said. “I don’t even like to answer the phone, because I’m afraid it will be bad news.”

I sat down beside my mom, held her hand, and said, “You don’t have to be afraid of the future. God has taken care of you all these years. He isn’t going to abandon you now.” Tears glazed her eyes and her chin quivered. As we held hands, I prayed for her. I asked God to help her trust his unfailing love and power to protect. Then we looked up several verses about fear.

The Bible addresses fear over three hundred times, coupled with the directives to be courageous, strong, remember God’s promises, his faithfulness, protection, and to trust rather than fear.

Today, as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19, fear seems to tap us on the shoulder at every turn. Media reports tend to focus on worst-case scenarios, enhancing fears and increasing anxiety. Shortages, protests, political bantering, misinformation, and medical concerns combine to discourage, disillusion, and depress. But we don’t have to allow fear to control our lives.

Near the end of her life, Mama seemed calmer, although anxiety sometimes surfaced. A few months before her death, a hospice worker identified my mother’s fears as classic symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), the result of some frightening experiences in childhood, including the death of a first-grade friend.

Following my mother’s death, I looked at the flyleaf of her Bible and found two verses in her handwriting:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

“Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” 1 Peter 5:7 TLB

I believe these verses and prayer lessened Mama’s fears and provided a measure of peace in the final years of her life. Like my mother, you can make the decision not to let fear control you. Don’t allow COVID-19, or any other challenges you face, to paralyze you with fear and prevent you from following God’s designated path for your life. Fortify yourself with Scripture and prayer and choose faith over fear.

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Faith Over Fear – encouragement from @CandyArrington on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Candy ArringtonAbout the author: Candy Arrington has written hundreds of articles and devotionals, often on tough topics. Her books include AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B & H) and When Your Aging Parent Needs Care: Practical Help for This Season of Life (Harvest House). Candy is a native South Carolinian, who gains writing inspiration from historic architecture, vintage photographs, nature, and the application of Biblical principles to everyday life. Learn more about Candy at www.CandyArrington.com, where you can also read her blog, Forward Motion: Moving Beyond What Holds You Back.

Candy’s book, When Your Aging Parent Needs Care, is a help to those who face the special effort of caring for a parent. It provides support and direction to enable the caregiver to be spiritually, physically, and emotionally prepared for the day to day challenges they face.

Join the conversation: How are you managing fear in light of what we are seeing all around us?