The Bible has quite a bit to say about both faith and fear. But the bottom line of those hundreds of Bible verses about faith over fear are just one message: believers are to choose faith over fear.
Please notice the verb in that sentence. Choose. You are to choose faith over fear. That isn’t always easy – in fact, it can be extremely difficult at times. But it is still a choice you must make every time you are confronted with fear. Will you choose faith over fear? Or will you let fear dampen your faith and trust in the One who loves you immeasurably?
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What does Faith over Fear Mean?
You want to be that Christian who chooses faith more than fear. I get it because I want the same thing for you as well as myself. But before you can do that, you need to understand what it means to choose faith over fear.
And to understand the choice, you must also understand what faith is and what fear is. The good news is that the Bible has a lot to say on both of these topics!
First, what is faith? God has provided us with a clear definition in Hebrews 11: “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Hebrews. 11:1 CSB).
Faith is ‘knowing that you know that you know’ that all God’s promises are sure. That God is good and can be trusted. That He is greater than all your fears and that He has a wonderful future planned for you.
Faith is the anchor that holds you securely as you weather the storms. But faith is also the Good Father, watching over you while you sleep, secure in the knowledge that He is there and will never leave.
To choose faith over fear, you must know what faith means in the daily-ness of your life.
And that daily-ness of life is where fear likes to play. Which is why you need to know what fear is.
Many types of fear show up in the Bible.
- Fear of being seen or found out (Genesis 3:10).
- Fear of harm to our families (Genesis 21:15-17).
- Fear of defeat (Numbers13:31).
- Fear of God’s assignment for you (Jonah 1)
- Fear of not having food or basic necessities of life (Matthew 6:25-31).
- Fear of never finding forgiveness and restoration (Peter denied Christ, but Christ restored him – John 21:15-17; Mark abandoned Paul and Barnabas, but Barnabas restored him to ministry – Acts 15:37-38 & 2 Timothy 4:11)
Do you notice a theme running through these fears? They are all rooted in one thing: not trusting God.
- Adam & Eve didn’t trust God to still love them.
- Hagar didn’t trust God to provide for Ishmael.
- The 10 spies didn’t trust God to be greater than the people of Canaan.
- Jonah didn’t trust God to look after him in the evil city of Nineveh. He also didn’t trust God with the results of his preaching.
- Many people don’t trust God to provide what they need to live.
- Peter didn’t trust Jesus to still be able to use him – so he went back to fishing.
- Paul didn’t trust God to bring John Mark to maturity in ministry.
The good news about this is that the ‘cure’ for fear is always the same: trusting God.
The bad news about this is that trusting God isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Which is why you need to arm yourself with Bible verses you can turn to every time you face the decision to choose faith over fear.
15 Faith Over Fear Bible Verses
You’ve probably heard that there are 365 verses in the Bible that say ‘fear not.’ I haven’t check so I can’t guarantee that number is correct. But I do know this – there are hundreds of Bible verses about choosing faith over fear.
Don’t worry – we’re not going to look at all of them today! As you read over these verses, look for the ‘trust God’ part. Most of the verses won’t say ‘trust God’ but many will tell you why you should trust Him. (HINT: look for the italics).
- Genesis 26:24 (NASB): …I am the God of your father Abraham; Do not fear, for I am with you…
- Exodus 14:13 (NASB): But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will perform for you today…”
- Deuteronomy 3:22 (CSB): Don’t be afraid of them, for the Lord your God fights for you.
- Deuteronomy 31:6 (CSB): Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.
- Joshua 1:9 (NIV): Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
- 2 Chronicles 20:15 (CSB): This is what the Lord says to you: ‘”Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”
- 2 Chronicles 32:7 (NASB): Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the One with us is greater than the one with him.
- Psalm 34:18-19 (CSB): The Lord is near to the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. One who is righteous has many adversities, but the Lord rescues him from them all.
- Psalm 56:3-4 (NASB): When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
- Psalm 91:4 (EHV): With his feathers He will cover you, and under His wings you will find refuge. His truth will be your shield and armor.
- Isaiah 41:10 (NASB): Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
- Matthew 6:26, 31-32 (NASB): Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they?… Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
- John 14:26-27: But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things, and remind you of everything I told you. Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let it be afraid.
- Romans 8:15 (NASB): For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
- Hebrews 13:5-6 (CSB): Keep your lives free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, “I will never leave you or abandon you.” Therefore, we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
How do You Keep Faith Over Fear?
It’s all well and good to say you should always choose faith over fear. But living it out in your daily choices isn’t always easy. Thankfully, God has not left us without some guidance on how you can live by faith instead of by fear.
First, change your focus from your fear to the object of your faith – Jesus.
The disciples provide us with a great example of not doing this! In Mark 4, Jesus told the disciples they were going to the other side of Lake Galilee, so they set out across the lake.
Soon a storm came along. Mark describes it as a “furious squall” with the waves breaking over the boat, “so that it was nearly swamped.” (Mark 4:35-37 NIV).
You remember what Jesus was doing, right? He was enjoying a nap. Undisturbed. Not worried. Not fearful. Simply trusting the Father enough to sleep through the storm.
The disciples, however, were not focused on the Father, or on Jesus sleeping peacefully. No, they were focused on the storm so much that they feared drowning (Mark 4:38). And remember, most of them were seasoned fishermen, so they had undoubtedly seen a few storms in their lives. This storm must have been a doozy.
When the storms in life become almost unbearable, it is so very difficult to focus on Jesus. But that is just what you need to do. When the disciples focused on Jesus – turned to Him and told Him their fear, even to the point of accusing Him of not caring – Jesus stepped in.
He calmed the storm and He calmed their fears. But more importantly, He pointed out the source of their fear to them. In verse 40, He asks, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
When the disciples focused on their fear and their situation, their faith disappeared in the storm. Only when they changed their focus from the storm to Jesus – put faith first, over fear – only then was the storm calmed.
That’s the first thing you need to do when surrounded by fear: change your focus.
Next, after you focus on Jesus, do what the disciples did: tell Jesus about your fear. Don’t hold back – He knows already, so no need to try to put on a brave face.
Paul reinforces this instruction in Philippians 4. “Do not be anxious or worried” or fearful. Instead, tell all your concerns and needs to the Lord (v. 6 AMP).
Jesus told us in Matthew 7, that the Father wants to give us good things – and freedom from fear is certainly a god thing! “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matt. 7:11 CSB).
God wants you to pray when you are fearful because in prayer you admit your need for Him. He will help you refocus on what truly matters. But that’s not all – He also will bless you with peace, whether or not the storm is stilled (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7).
Third, when fear threatens to overwhelm you, remember the faithfulness of God in your past (even if the ‘past’ was only 3 hours ago!).
Throughout the Old Testament, you can read of believers building altars (Genesis 12:7; 26:25; 35:7; Exodus 17:15; Joshua 8:30; 22:34; Judges 6:24; 2 Samuel 24:18) and memorials (Joshua 4:7) to remind them of God’s faithfulness. The festivals were held for the same reasons (Exodus 12:14; 23:14; Numbers 10:10).
When David faced Goliath, he had a ‘memorial stone.’ He stated, “The Lord who saved me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, He will save me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). He recognized God’s faithfulness in his past and used that to face down both fear and the enemy of Israel.
You probably don’t have a physical ‘memorial stone’ around. But you can build spiritual memorial stones – and even create physical reminders of God’s faithfulness.
For example, did you pray for years for a child and then were blessed with twins? That’s a memorial stone. Take one of the thousands of pictures you’ve snapped and print it with the caption, “God has been faithful.”
- Did God keep you safe in a dangerous situation? Memorial stone.
- Did He prevent you from going to a party in college that ended with multiple arrests for your friends? Memorial stone.
- Did He comfort you through your divorce and guide you with extraordinary financial wisdom? Memorial stone.
- Did He open doors to your dream job – or close doors to what you thought was a dream job but would have been a nightmare? Memorial stone.
As you remember and recount to yourself the stories of God’s faithfulness in your life, trusting Him in the face of fear at this moment becomes easier.
Our world is loud. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere and not hear music or news or podcasts or conversations. Our world is also visually loud. Screens are everywhere. You can stream distractions for hours. Social media will eat your time if you allow it.
But God has said, “Be still” (Psalm 46:10 NIV). Other translations say, “Stop fighting” (CSB), “Calm down” (CEV), “Stop striving” (NASB), “Let go of your concerns” (NOG), and “Surrender your anxiety” (TPT). In our world today, you need this message so very much.
You need silence. You need stillness. You need the space and time to mediate on God’s Word (Psalm 1:2; 119:15), to hear the still, small voice of God (1 Kings 19:11-12).
Cut down on the noise in your life to make room for the Spirit of God. As a bonus, you’ll lose the pull towards comparison with others, the fear of missing out, and the keeping up mindset. On the plus side, you may discover you have much more time to accomplish what you need to – and far less stress about deadlines and to-do lists.
God “sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6 NIV), He has made you a part of “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10) or God’s family (Ephesians. 2:19).
He also instructs us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2 NASB – see also Ephesians. 4:2; Col 3:13), “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15 NASB), and “encourage the fainthearted” (1 Thessalonians. 5:14).
In short, God expects His children to support each other – but that is only possible if you open yourself up to others. Holding all your fears and hurts inside only makes everything worse. Find another woman you trust to share with. Someone you can call at 3 AM is best! Just don’t try to power through living a life of faith on your own.
God made the church a body, a family, a team sport. He made you to thrive in community and on that team. Choose faith over fear by choosing transparency despite your fears of rejection.
Elijah was a great man of God. He faithfully faced 400 prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. He doesn’t appear to have had an ounce of fear in that confrontation.
But almost immediately after that, fear shows up. 1 Kings 19:3 says, “He was afraid.” Elijah feared for his life and he ran away. He was so fearful, he even asked God to kill him (19:4).
You know what God does? First, He didn’t tell Elijah to be strong, have faith, or quote Bible verses at him. No, instead He provides Elijah with food, drink, and rest (19:5-7). Sometimes the simplest solutions work wonders.
But God didn’t stop there. He listened to Elijah’s fears (19:14). He reassured him that his fears were not reality (19:18). And then He provided a co-worker and friend for Elijah (19:19-21).
Sometimes, the best way to deal with your fear is just to withdraw as much as possible. You probably can’t sleep under a tree and have an angel provide your meals. But what could you do?
When fear overwhelms you, how could you withdraw? Take a personal day off work? Carve out an extra hour in the evenings for time with Jesus? Set aside Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon for an ‘only me and worship music’ mini-road trip?
Get alone. Get quiet. Talk to God. Listen for His voice. He will always meet you in your need.
RELATED: Waiting on God – Lessons from Elijah
Final Thoughts About Faith Over Fear
Fear is real and unavoidable. That is true for everyone and always will be. What matters more than your fear is how you handle it.
Can fear and faith exist together? Can you hang on to ‘just this little fear’ and still live faithfully? I’m not going to answer that for you. But maybe a better question would be this: Can you trust God and not trust God at the same time?
Because this is the truth: Fear is unavoidable. But living with and embracing and ceding control of your life to fear is a choice. A choice to choose fear instead of trusting God.
Here’s another truth: you will have to make that choice over and over and over again as long as you walk this earth. But God has given you tools to help you choose faith over fear:
- Focus on Jesus instead of your fear.
- Pray and unload all your worries, concerns, and emotions on the Lord. Ask for help.
- Remember God’s faithfulness throughout your life.
- Embrace silence so that you can hear the voice of God as He whispers comfort and courage to your heart.
- Be transparent in your closest relationships. Be honest. Be vulnerable. And let your sisters in Christ help hold you up and hold you together.
- Withdraw from the pressure and stress whenever you can. Take a nap. Turn off the phone. Eat good food. Go for a hike or soak in a bubble-bath. Give yourself the time that God gave to Elijah.
Finally, if fear has a stronghold in your life, I encourage you to use these and other verses to write on note cards and place around your home, your workplace, and your car.
Tammie Pittsley writes at lifeloveandjesus.com and focuses on faith and family. Her passion is taking God’s Word and making it practically applicable in the day-to-day lives of 21st century women, no matter where they are in their life or faith stages. She has been a homeschooler, elementary teacher, and daycare provider. But her favorite role is wife/mom/grandma – and it is those roles that have taught her how to live her faith in practical ways.
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- Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children
- 31 Bible Promises to Pray for Your Children
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