Fear and Unbelief: Unwelcome “Brothers” and “Friends”
I’m going to apologize in advance for advertising this title as one thing yesterday and changing it today. After much thought, this title fits better. Fear and Unbelief are twin brothers and they walk hand in hand bent on destroying you and your purpose. Let’s dive into why.
I have first-hand knowledge of fear and unbelief. I walked in both for many years in different ways. They followed me wherever I went stealing time, money, relationships, my identity and my purpose. Fear operates using the imagination of the things that could be as well as the things that are. Fear, in a nutshell, tells us things will never change, people will never change, and circumstances will never change. Fear locks us into believing (there’s that word) that we can’t change! Our circumstance and reality may be very real, and I don’t deny that some of you reading this have had very real circumstances and realities you have had to face; but fear uses the unknown and a false self-narrative (false self-identity) to get us to believe that the circumstance or reality can’t change. Walking around with fear is like walking around with a dark veil over our heads, it shrouds the truth in shadow. Fear steals your hope and identity! Fear is not your friend!
Once fear has changed our belief system in ourselves and our reality, it has us exactly where it wants us and so does its twin brother, Unbelief. Now “they” can get us to believe anything and do anything in an attempt to feel better about ourselves and our circumstances; even things that are harmful to us mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Unbelief steals your identity and purpose! Unbelief is not your “friend!” Why do you think people return to abusive relationships? It’s not because they are stupid as they are many times described in our society. They have succumbed to the fear that there is nothing else, and they don’t believe (unbelief) that they can do better. Why do you think people turn to crime, extremist groups, drugs and alcohol, or addiction of any kind? Fear that there is nothing else for them, and they don’t believe (unbelief) they can do better. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to oversimplify addiction, crime, the choice to join a gang or an extremist group, or even return to an abusive partner. I am well aware these issues are complicated and there are also other motives and hurts that drive those decisions. There is no one size fits all reason because we can’t put human beings in boxes. What I am trying to say is if you look back in the history of an individual’s life before some of these other more complicated decisions, you will find fear and unbelief of some kind. These have roots in something the person experienced indirectly or directly. These have roots in things both said and unsaid to them. These have roots in unmet expectations.
You may be thinking at this point, “Okay Elizabeth, you’ve explained how this works and why, but how do we deal with fear and unbelief?”
We must first know who we are. Fear can’t steal an identity that is firmly and deeply intact. Unbelief can’t change a mind that knows who they are and what their purpose is. How do we know who we are and how do we know our purpose? I only have one answer for that. He is the only answer. He was and is my answer. His name is Jesus Christ. You can’t have self-help without Him in the equation. You can’t have complete healing, complete identity, and complete purpose without Him in the equation. You can try on your own or try to find these things in people or projects, but they will not do what only Jesus can do for you. I have tried people and projects to no avail. I felt like a hamster on an elusive wheel running after something I couldn’t catch. It was exhausting! I can’t tell you how much time and money I wasted over the years doing this very thing! Don’t be me!
If you want to conquer fear and unbelief, take them to Jesus. He is a person and he can be known. He is not just a religious figure. He loves you, he died for you and he is alive and well! He wants to heal you through and through and he wants to free you from fear and unbelief more than you know! He wants to free you from your hurt, pain and past. I have walked this road for the last 5 years so I can attest to the fact that He is not only real, but he will do exactly what I’m telling you he will do.
What do you have to lose when you’ve tried everything else?
What are you waiting for? 1 John 4:18a (NIV); There is no fear in love; but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment.
2 Corinthian 5:17 (NIV); For we walk by faith, not by sight.