How to Overcome Fear Spiritually with Faith & Scriptures

Fear comes in all different shapes and sizes. But how to overcome fear spiritually comes from one central source: faith in God. 

Overcoming fear is a lifelong pursuit. However, the pursuit is not one you do on your own. With God by your side, you can experience the peace of God and a joyful life even through the storms of life.

This may seem like a tall order or lavish promise. Yet the promise doesn’t come from ourselves, me, or this blog post. The guarantee comes from the promises of God laid out in His Holy Word.

a woman praying over her Bible to learn how to overcome fear spiritually

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How to Overcome Fear Spiritually

As we dive into what scripture says about spiritually overcoming fear, I encourage you to pray along the way. God may not reveal to you how he will bring you out of the hard time. 

But he will remind you that he is a good God and God’s love for you is sufficient for all you need. God’s presence  will comfort you as you face your own fears.

2 Corinthians 1:5 says, “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”  (ESV)  

What is the Root of Fear?

If you were to stop now and make a list of all of your fears, how many of those fears would be things that you could control?

For me, probably 95% of my fears are things out of my control. How my friend will react if I share something vulnerable with her. How will I get to my conference if my flight is cancelled. Whether a family member or friend will recover from an illness.

Looking at our lists, it’s easy to see the root of fear is worry over things that we can’t control. So it’s very fitting that overcoming fear is rooted in turning to the one who has control over all things.

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.”
1 Chronicles 29:11 (ESV)

What fears can God help us overcome?

The spirit of fear can manifest in our lives in different ways. There are irrational fears, a type of fear that is illogical. Oftentimes, it can’t be explained or understood by others, which can make it a very isolating type of fear. 

I have an irrational fear of dinosaurs. As we know these creatures are extinct and will not being resurrected, but I still duck every time I see a Jurassic Park Commercial.

Another fear many of us struggle with is anxiety. Anxiety is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.”

For me, anxiety comes from “fortune-telling,” where I imagine and assume things about the future with no real basis. Worry builds up in my mind, and soon anxiety is influencing my decisions and giving me fearful thoughts and an anxious heart. 

Two other types of fear I need to overcome spiritually are the fear of loneliness and fear of failure. Loneliness has been a constant battle in my life since I was a young girl. It’s a fear that I need to constantly submit to God and pray for contentment in my current relationships.

Fear of failure is in part fear of embarrassment. What will others think if I fail or I can’t do this? Sometimes, fear of failure comes from a distorted view of success or comparing myself to others. 

What is the difference between fear and fear of the Lord?

Fear of the Lord is described in the Bible as the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1). To fear God is a holy reverence and respect for God and his word. 

Being scared of God is not the same as fear of the Lord. In 1 John 4:18, John writes “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

Thus, we can be confident that the storms of life are not given to us as punishment from God. That doesn’t mean we’re exempt from correction and discipline or the consequences of our actions. 

But God’s character revealed to us in his word shows us that we do not need to fear God’s punishment. For those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, Jesus has taken God’s wrath for us and bestowed on us grace and kindness (Ephesians 2:1-10). 

We have nothing from God to fear. In fact, we can take comfort in the fact that everything—good or bad—passes through God’s hand before it comes to us. We trust in the promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

A healthy fear of God is to hold utmost respect for Him. As we respect fire and its ability to burn us by not placing our hand in the flame, so we respect and honor the Lord, knowing that he is all-powerful and all-knowing and holds life and all creation in his hands.

“‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.’”

How do you get rid of the spirit of fear?

All fear can be submitted to God and overcome. For 2 Timothy 4:7 says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). Here, the apostle Paul is encouraging Timothy to be brave in the face of hardship.

The greatest encouragement is that the spirit of power and love and self-control has been given to Timothy from God Almighty. This is contrary to the spirit of fear. 

So to get rid of the spirit of fear, we must lean into the other spirit of power, love, and self-control. It’s no coincidence that these traits are fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus describes the Holy Spirit to his disciples like this:

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

The amplified version of this passage adds these descriptors of the Holy Spirit: “Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby.” A constant companion and our advocate, the Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s promises and character so we can trust and rely on Him instead of ourselves.

Going back to the root of fear, when we rely on ourselves, it’s no wonder we become fearful. As humans we have very limited control over our circumstances and no control over what others do or how they respond.

For example, fear of rejection has power over our lives when we look to others for our worth and acceptance. But when we know and trust that our identity is in Christ, then there is no fear. Christ Jesus assured that when he paid the penalty for our sins.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”

How does God say to overcome fear?

When it comes to how to overcome fear spiritually, God has given us a gift to show us how to remove fear from the mind and heart—the Bible.

These bible verses about overcoming fear are rooted in the promises of God and the integrity of His character.

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:13

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV)

Luke 1:30

“And the angel said to her [Mary], ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’”

Psalm 91:5-6

“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”

Psalm 34:19

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

2 Timothy 4:18

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Psalm 23:4

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalms 34:17-18

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

John 16:33

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

How do you release your fear spiritually?

With scriptures about fear in our mind, we can now tackle the question of how to release your fear and live in the power of the Spirit. Here are 4 strategies for overcoming fear spiritually. 

Be Honest about Your Fear

It’s hard to overcome fear when we’re not sure what we’re afraid of. 

Personally, I avoid naming my fears, thinking that it will protect that fear from coming a reality. But anything I’m already afraid to name or trying to hide from myself is already a fear. 

Writing down your fear in a journal or talking it out with a close friend or family member can be therapeutic. It can give you clarity about what you’re feeling and help you feel less alone in your fear.

Rely on the Word of God

We can fight our fears with the truth of God’s word and his character. God’s promises that He will never leave us and that He will walk with us through all situations. 

Trusting in God’s character can also be encouragement to us when we face fear. Verses about God’s love for us remind us God’s great care, goodness and compassion for us.

Prayer Overcomes Fear

Prayer is a gift and privilege that allows us to communicate with God at any time and about anything. God wants us to bring our fears to Him.

Philippians 4:6-7 says:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The peace that Paul is talking about isn’t a guarantee that everything will work out in the way we imagine or want it to be. But it is confidence in God and his character that gives us peace.

We have peace because although we are not in control, the God of the Universe is in control and watching over us. Every time we pray, we are connecting ourselves to the God of Peace and inviting that perfect peace into our lives.

This article talks more about the power of prayer, giving examples of powerful prayer stories. We also have short prayers for different topics to give you a guideline. This brings us to the last great way to overcome fear.

Live by Faith and Move

Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

When it comes to fear, faith is what pushes us to carry on despite it. We have to accept that we may never get rid of a particular fear. But through faith, we choose to continue to follow God and walk with Him even though we may be afraid. 

When I am fearful, I ask God to strengthen my faith and give me courage to obey Him although I’m scared. 

How can I train my mind to overcome fear?

Overcoming fear is a lifelong journey. We will always have fear in our lives, though it may take different forms.

But over time, we can train our minds to overcome fear by continuing to practice dealing with our fears in healthy ways. By using God’s word as our truth and encouragement, we will be rooted in God’s love and peace. Through prayer, we connect with God and fight anxiety as we list our requests before him.

For more strategies for overcoming fear, see how to remove fear from the mind and heart. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional counselor or clinical psychologist if you need help overcoming intense fear or past trauma. 

a woman sitting on her couch and praying to ask God to help with her fear

How do you have faith when you are scared?

On one of my favorite Christian podcastsCultish, the hosts interviewed Alisa Childers where they discussed faith and doubt. Many people have the wrong assumption that someone cannot have faith if they have any doubts.

Alisa brought up the point that the opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is unbelief. 

Faith and doubt actually go together. As Hebrews 1 reminded us, faith is hope in what we cannot see and what has not happened yet.

It’s the same way with fear. Fear doesn’t mean that we don’t have enough faith. Faith doesn’t even make fear go away.

But faith is our foundation and our rock when we are overwhelmed with fear. So when you are scared, instead of beating yourself up for not having enough faith, remember that faith is about continuing to believe even when you can’t be certain of what you hope for.

As you work on how to overcome fear spiritually, rely on your faith. Trust in God’s character and pour God’s promises over your mind. Overcoming fear isn’t a one day event, it’s a process. But it’s a process that your Heavenly Father is ready to walk with you through it all.

Don’t miss this! More posts in the Growing in Faith Category:

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