Overcoming Fear: Strength and Courage for the Chicken-Hearted

Overcoming Fear - Strength and Courage for the Chicken-Hearted

I have one great fear.

I am terrified that something might happen to Joe and myself and that my kids will end up living in a boxcar in some field. This fear lays dormant until it’s time for Joe and me to travel together. This year that included, Michigan, Florida, and in the fall, New Zealand. My imagination can go crazy with “what if” scenarios. It will wake me up in the middle of the night in a near panic and it can bring tears to my eyes during the day.

Fear is unhealthy and dangerous.

While fear is natural and all experience it, it is often sinful and therefore serious. Some of the older writers referred to being “afraid” as being “chicken-hearted”. It’s a kind of cowardice inappropriate in a child of God.


Here are 6 reasons:

  1. Unhealthy fear terrible because it blinds us from all that is good and right.
  1. Fear hinders praise by causing us to focus on ourselves and our circumstances, even disrupting our worship of God during church.  
  1. Fear exchanges thanksgiving with complaining, worry, or anger.
  1. Fear can erodes hope and therefore often paralyzes our prayers.
  1. Fear leads us to ignore the truth and create scenarios that do not exist and are not real.  
  1. Fear forgets God’s faithfulness.

Ultimately fear lays in opposition to faith.

Instead of believing what God has revealed in His word, we end up placing our faith in our circumstances, in our feelings, or in our imagination.

The question we need to ask is how do we overcome our fear. What is the remedy?

It may sound unhelpful at first, but the answer is–faith!

The cure for fear is faith, but it is not just some arbitrary faith in someone or something. It is a sure hope in the work of Christ for us, in the promises of God, and in the character of all the persons of the Trinity.

Here is the thing, it’s not about talking myself out of the thought that tragedy could happen, because it could. It’s about trusting in the good and wise sovereign plan of God. It is believing that God is working all things for His glory and our good. It is seeing God’s wisdom in all the happenings of our life. For me, it is entrusting my children into the loving care of God, even if that includes them going through some hard and dark times. But as a parent this requires faith.

How do the “chicken-hearted” strengthened their faith?

By making the most of the “means of grace” that God uses to grow us spiritually. The Bible, prayer, corporate worship, and Christian fellowship are the instruments God uses to strengthen the weak. Knowing God allows us to confidently approach his throne with bold prayers and causes us to draw comfort from his character during tumultuous times.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Is. 41:10


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