Fear diminishes our quality of life, our ability to love, and keeps us from the freedom we gain in Christ. But how does fear affect faith? How can we move from fear to faith?

Below is an excerpt from Max Lucado’s Encouraging Word Bible. Max  gives you notes, short articles, and various study tools meet you where you are with encouragement and insight. 

Your Encouraging Word from Max Lucado’s Encouraging Word Bible

What’s your worst fear?

A fear of public failure, unemployment, or heights? The fear that you’ll never find the right spouse or enjoy good health? The fear of being trapped, abandoned, or forgotten?

These are real fears, born out of legitimate concerns. Yet left unchecked, they metastasize into obsessions. The step between prudence and paranoia is short and steep. Prudence wears a seat belt. Paranoia avoids cars. Prudence washes with soap. Paranoia avoids human contact. Prudence saves for old age. Paranoia hoards even trash. Prudence prepares and plans. Paranoia panics. Prudence calculates the risk and takes the plunge. Paranoia never enters the water.

The words plunge and water come to mind as I’m writing this while sitting on the edge of a hotel swimming pool. (Amazing what a hot sun, a cool soda, and a pool chair can do for creativity.) A father and his two small daughters are at play. He’s in the water; they jump into his arms. Let me restate that: one jumps; the other ponders. The dry one gleefully watches her sister leap. She dances up and down as the other splashes. But when her dad invites her to do the same, she shakes her head and backs away.

kid jumped into pool not letting fear affect his faith

A living parable!

How many people spend life on the edge of the pool? Consulting caution. Ignoring faith. Never taking the plunge. Happy to experience life vicariously through others. Preferring to take no risk rather than any risk. For fear of the worst, they never enjoy life at its best.

By contrast, their sister jumps. Not with foolish abandon, but with belief in the goodness of a father’s heart and trust in a father’s arms. Such was the choice of Jesus. He did more than speak about fear. He faced it.

How to move from fear to faith:

As followers of God, you and I have a huge asset. We know everything is going to turn out all right. Christ hasn’t budged from his throne, and Romans 8:28 hasn’t evaporated from the Bible. Our problems have always been his possibilities. The kidnapping of Joseph resulted in the preservation of his family. The persecution of Daniel led to a cabinet position. Christ entered the world by a surprise pregnancy and redeemed it through his unjust murder. Dare we believe what the Bible teaches? That no disaster is ultimately fatal?

Are you ever in a situation when you are afraid to do what is right? Is your fear affecting your faith? Plan how you will handle those situations to bring honor to God. Ask Him for strength to respond correctly. Be bold!

Daniel Doesn’t Let His Fear Affect His Faith

Now that we’ve read Max Lucado’s insight on letting fear affect our faith, let’s read some Scripture!

“Daniel and his Israelite friends were exiled to Babylon. Servants on the king prepared them to serve in the royal court.” — Max Lucado, Encouraging Word Bible

Daniel 1:1–21

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

big thanksgiving feast, symbolizing the king's food that David didn't eat, not letting fear affect his faith

Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

veggies, representing the food that David ate instead of the King's food, when he chose to not let his fear affect his faith

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

“It is possible to be obedient to God even when surrounded by people who are disobedient to his Word. The Hebrew boys stood strong in the faith, despite what might have caused them to fear.” — Max Lucado, Encouraging Word Bible

18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Keep Learning with the Lucado Encouraging Word Bible

This new resource from Max Lucado is based on his Life Lessons Bible. It now includes:

  • 98 new “People of the Word” articles encourage believers through the lessons learned by people throughout the Bible
  • 691 “For Your Journey” marginal notes mix masterful storytelling with biblical context to lead you into a deeper walk with the Lord
  • 115 “Jesus Through the Bible” and “Growing in Christ” articles provide both inspiration and practical lessons to build you up
  • 30-day personal or group Bible study enriches your knowledge of the Bible
  • “Where to turn when . . . ” Scripture reference list means you can always find a biblical answer to the challenges you face
  • Bible book introductions contain an outline and introduction
  • Bible reading plan
  • Full-color maps

If you liked this excerpt on how fear affects faith, then you’re sure to love the Lucado Encouraging Word Bible. Learn more on our website.

2 Comments

  1. Step into faith and be open to the renewing of your mind. give yourself the gift of having the life that you want and stop being comfortable with just existing. God is good. God always has something for you.

  2. Fear diminishes our quality of life, our ability to love, and keeps us from the freedom we gain in Christ. But how does fear affect faith? How can we move from fear to faith?

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