Choose Faith Over Fear: 9 Choices You Can Make Instead of Panicking

According to the Oxford Languages definition faith is defined as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” and “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”.

What Does It Mean To Have Faith?

You can have faith in anyone or anything, but faith is often associated with having complete trust in a religion, or rather, in the supreme deity of that religion.

One does not need to be part of established religion to have faith in a deity. Many mystics, such as Qabalists, and those who are Gnostics, have faith in a Creator; although their views of the Creator of our world differ.

God favors faith.

Mark 4:40 AMPC

He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?

What Does It Mean To Have Fear?

Fear is defined in as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm” and “to be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or harmful”.

Fear alerts us to the presence of danger or the threat of harm, whether that danger is physical or psychological.

According to Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, director of the Neurobiology of Fear Laboratory at McLean Hospital, “Fear is the most evolutionarily conserved behavioral reflex for survival. It produces the same responses in people now as it did at the beginning of human history.” 

(https://www.verywellmind.com/the-psychology-of-fear-2671696). The response referred to here is biochemical.

If fear becomes anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome, or a strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen – then fear is escalating beyond a biochemical response into a psychological concern.

Panic is what happens if anxiety becomes severe. Panic can cause you to avoid certain situations because you fear they’ll trigger another panic attack, which creates a cycle of living ‘in fear of fear’. Panic is definitely not good, and nor is it rational or natural.

Choose Faith Over Fear

The emotional response to fear is highly personalized and will determine whether you panic or not.

Response to fear is a learned response: how your parents dealt with fear, whether you learnt the skills to cope with fear, whether you believe you deserve good things because of what you were told as a child.

If you didn’t have good role models to emulate in learning about fear, didn’t learn the skills to cope with it and don’t believe you deserve good things, then chances are you will panic and may be more prone to irrational fears. Irrational fear originates from imagined dangers.

In this context, fear can be a symptom of mental health conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

From a medical point of view, there are medical treatments to overcome irrational fears and panic attacks, such as exposure therapy and systematic desensitization. There are also medications.

Whether your fear is rational or irrational you need to deal with it because it will whittle you down if you don’t. If fear becomes anxiety and leads to panic then it is dangerous.

Joyce Meyer points out that fear can make you miserable. It can destroy your life. It begins as a thought. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he” (NKJV).

If you are prone to panicking in response to fear, instead of coping with it, then fear can cause you to do foolish actions or prevent you doing something that would be good for you.

Psychologists and doctors advise using strategies that focus on managing the physical, emotional, and behavioral effects of fear, but if you really want to quash fear, let faith step up to the plate.

Faith can vanquish fear, it can overcome any poorly learnt ways to deal with fear, it can override anything this world has done to you.

Faith belongs to the spiritual realm and emanates from a superior source, from the Creator. Is it any wonder faith is the most singularly powerful way to conquer fear?

Jesus was not afraid when he was nailed to the cross. Instead, he had pity for the ignorance of his persecutors. “They know not what they do”. Faith soothes panic and opens the door for you to learn from trials and tribulations.

God does not want you to indulge fear. The most uttered command in the Bible is ‘Do not be afraid’. In the KJV there are 63 “Fear Not”s and 23 “Be Not Afraid”s.

You have a choice to make when you find yourself facing fears that are causing anxiety and leading to panic. These fears and their effects are not rational or productive. Instead, they are irrational and destructive. Know this and make your choice with this in mind.

Here are nine conscious choices, based on faith, that you can make instead of panicking in the face of fear.

1. Be Certain In Your Faith

If you are facing fear and anxiety, don’t panic! Now is the time to be certain in your faith.

Replace disempowering fear with empowering faith.

In The Fear and Anxiety Solution: A Breakthrough Process for Healing and Empowerment with Your Subconscious Mind, Dr. Friedemann Schaub gives three steps to conquer fearful thoughts: define a new core belief, believe it and collect supportive evidence (https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-deal-fear-and-anxiety).

If you have faith, then you already have your core belief and you already believe it. As to supportive evidence, the proof of faith is in experiencing it. To have faith in a spiritual being, you have to have the understanding and wisdom to embrace the concept of spiritual above material.

You need to be certain that there are energy forces beyond the material forms of our world, beings capable of creating everything. Many people cannot achieve the profound level of understanding or wisdom required to forego physical proof.

Believe to the very core of your being and the events that transpire will be your proof. Be intuitive rather than logical. Nourish faith, not fear. Believe, don’t analyze. Faith does not require physical proof. Faith is a state of mind. Faith is about believing in the spiritual above the material.

Matthew 8:26 ASV

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great Calm.

Luke 8:25 AMP

And He said to them, “Where is your faith [your confidence in Me]?” They were afraid and astonished, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?”

Focus on faith and spiritual well-being. This entails three key steps (see https://www.acu.edu/2020/04/20/in-times-of-uncertainty-focus-on-faith-and-well-being/):

Recognize the sovereignty of God. He is in control, no matter what is happening in the world.

Psalm 135:6 (ESV)

Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.”

Rest in, and live by, faith. Trusting in God brings astounding peace in the midst of a storm.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Focus on emotional well-being. Acknowledge your feelings and state what you feel in a matter-of-fact way. Turn those feelings over to God. Develop emotional self-awareness.

2. Spiritual Study

Get your thoughts in the right place to quell the rising panic. Arm yourself with knowledge.

Read the scriptures, seek the words that settle your troubled mind.

Think deeply about what you need to do to keep on the path of righteousness, to continue your search for the good, for knowledge and purity of intentions. Transform information into revelation. Let the truth be revealed and it will set you free.

Bible verses about faith, or selected words from whatever is your preferred source of knowledge about the Creator, can help in making spiritual choices when afraid. Once you are armed with knowledge of the spiritual, fears associated with this material world will occupy less space in your mind and soul.

John 14:27 AMPC

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.

John 14:27 AMPC

Develop an identity that conforms with your faith by studying and understanding the characteristics to develop. If you find a religion or belief system in which you have faith you can enhance your soul, become closer to God. Ephesians 2:10 AMPC says that ‘God has a pre-arranged destiny for each one of us and with faith, not fear, you can fulfil His will’.

Fear as illusion

3. Know That Fear Is An Illusion

Fear is only useful if you are facing a real danger, otherwise fear is illusory. What’s the point in panicking about an illusion?

True reality is spiritual, not material. You cannot change the material reality of the world in which you live but you can change how you perceive it.Nourish your inner Divine. Never give your energy to fear.

Everything in life is energy. Matter is energy in material form. Focus on energy in spiritual form. Get your priorities right. Transforming your understanding of fear is essential, because fear separates you from the Light of the Creator.

1 John 4:17 MSG

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day – our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s.

There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_between_good_and_evil

The concept of fear and the panic it can engender is connected to lack of knowledge.All religions have their own way of explaining the abundance of evil in the world. The point is, there is evil and the headlines in mass media thrive on it.

Do not let information into your mind that will deplete your energy. Be selective as to what you think about. You have a choice. If the news depresses you, read the scriptures. Do not enter the empty territory of fear and panic.

An awakening brought about through the acquisition of knowledge, and the dismissal of that which is not real, namely fear, can offer salvation. Fear is not real because it does not come from the Creator. That which is not Light is not from the Creator.

4. Know That You Are Not Alone

Instead of panicking, stand tall and stride forth. You have God by your side.

Read Psalm 23:1–6. These words should be your mantra: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/uk/beliefs/holy-bible/discover-the-power-of-the-bible/psalm-23

“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.” (D&C 68:6.)

Prayer should be a way of life. 

Romans 8:15 NLT

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

Set goals in the spirit of prayer. Focus your will and your desires on a goal and spiritual forces will help. If you know what to do in righteousness, the channel is open for spiritual help.

Let go of ego. Fear is related to ego. If your ego is inflated, how can you communicate with your God? God is not interested in ego. God favors the humble. Be humble enough to know you do not know. Ask God for the strength, power, and love you need.

https://deepspirituality.com/choose-faith-over-fear/

5. Have Supportive People In Your Life

Have people in your life that are ‘panic whisperers’, able to calm your fears.

Build and grow your relationships with people who are good, who are walking a spiritual path. It is always a good idea to be in tune with the needs of others and to identify opportunities to serve those around you. However, use discrimination and set healthy boundaries.

Supportive People In Your Life

Not all people are good, some are evil. Get rid of dangerous or damaging relationships. Focus on spiritual, emotional, and relational well-being. Surround yourself with others who are fighting the good fight. Let go of those who sap your energy or engender fear.

Always share your spiritual insights. Be compassionate. Have empathy. And remember, love is a great force for good. See https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-deal-fear-and-anxiety

6. Deal With Emotional And Psychological Issues Blocking Your Energy

No one can perform their best if they are weighed down by regret, remorse, urge for revenge and other negative and sapping emotions. Shed what is weakening you and get stronger.

https://www.visionpsychology.com/how-to-let-go-of-emotional-baggage/

When there are negative emotions from the past, they can develop into emotional baggage. Acknowledge the feelings causing you psychological pain, identify whether there is something that you can do to resolve the situation and do it or, elsewise, learn to let it go. 

Dr Gail Brenner in her article Healing the Past talks about now the past becomes the present and the future when you dwell on the past. You have a choice whether to let people or events define you.

https://www.healthline.com/health/mind-body/how-to-release-emotional-baggage-and-the-tension-that-goes-with-it Carrying past trauma and negative experiences can affect the way you react to fear.

7. Fight the Good Fight

Panic is pointless when there is an adversary to face. Fear is an adversary if it comes from a bad place.

Acknowledge that there is Good and there is Evil. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_between_good_and_evil.

Revelation 21:8 ASV

But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.

God lists fear and unbelief alongside murder, fornication, sorcery, and abomination. God sees fear as evil.

https://aleteia.org/2019/01/31/the-cosmic-struggle-between-good-and-evil-is-it-real/

Jesus delivered people from the dominion of demonic forces. Since 2004, every Catholic diocese has been required to appoint an exorcist, a priest trained in delivering people from demonic influence or possession.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1977/10/turning-fear-into-faith?lang=engMeditation

Let the presence of the Divine reassure you. Be prepared. This is the Lord’s own instruction: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) Realize the nature of the opposition.  Evil feeds off fear. Each time you recognize fear and let it overpower you, you have recognized the presence of evil and let it win. See the fear as evil and do battle with it.

Let good prevail. Fight the good fight.Drive fear out with faith.  The Creator has the power to change your feelings and to give you his Holy Spirit. Love should be your weapon of choice.

1 John 4:17 MSG

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day – our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s.

There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love.

1 Timothy 1:7 ASV

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.

With knowledge, intention, and motivation, you can go to battle with fear and build a stronger connection to the Creator. The Creator can over-ride anything the material world throws at you. Jesus calmed life-threatening storms and waves.

8. Use Fear As A Spiritual Learning Experience

Let the hunter become the prey. If fear and panic, worry and stress, are bringing you down, turn them around and use them instead.

Look for the gift in the duress because it is a gift. Challenges, suffering, duress and similar are opportunities to work on your spiritual path. If you stay calm and connected with your spiritual self, solutions present themselves.

James 1:2-5 MSG

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.

So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.

Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

Ephesians 2:10 – ERV

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.

Challenges are blessings in disguise. Suffering is an opportunity to transform from within, an opportunity to erase ego, to step knowingly into the unknown, to move into higher knowing.

The obstacles we face, and the experiences we go through, have the ability to transform us. Realize this, and you realize that there is absolutely nothing to fear. You are exactly where you are meant to be, even if you don’t feel like you are right now.

meditating woman

9. Meditate

Always return to stillness and silence to internalize your resources.

https://www.headspace.com/meditation/fear

Observe your thoughts and feelings and learn to let go of those that make you fearful. Commonly advocated meditation techniques include practises like noting, identifying thoughts and feelings, zeroing in on body awareness. If you have tried these techniques and found them wanting, there is another way.

Seek stillness and silence in a setting where the irritations of material existence cannot reach you and focus on the Divine spark within.

Focus on the Light within. Feel it flicker into a flame, till the glow emanates from the inside out. If you feel this, then you are absorbed in the spirit. Meditate on what you have faith in and you will be offered answers.

Practicing stillness allows you to be with your thoughts and feelings in a present state. Silence is closer to the Divine. By momentarily disengaging from external stimuli, researchTrusted Source says people can better connect with their inner self.

Go outdoors and seek natural splendors.Being connected to nature not only makes people feel better emotionally, it reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones, which are all signals of stress and fear. The physical exercise will also help your mood.

Conclusion

Rational fear, due to real dangers, plays a pivotal role in the survival mechanism. In this context, fear serves a very important biochemical purpose and can, in fact, be a matter of life or death.

Even so, how you respond is key. The real problem with fear is when it is irrational, causing anxiety and panic, or when you do not respond well to it, rational or irrational.

If you let fears, that aren’t founded on biochemical necessity, take over your mind you become incapacitated at best, and prey to evil at worst.

The most powerful weapon you have in your arsenal to wage war against fear and panic is faith. Faith flows from and to a spiritual reservoir.

What stronger ally could you wish for than God in a battle to overcome the evil of panic and consuming fear. God rewards faith and abhors a fearful attitude.

With faith as your shield and God by your side you can vanquish fear and use your energy in more wholesome and productive ways to serve your God.  

Always remember that how you deal with the trials and tribulations of life is a matter of choice. Being fearful is not a good option. Be brave instead.

Be certain in your faith, study the scriptures, know you are not alone, gather like-minded support, fight the good fight, learn from your tribulations and meditate upon them.

Robert Merchfield
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