The fears and doubts brought by uncertainty in our lives – can behave like a giant stronghold, undermining our success in God’s estimation as we try to both become the person and accomplish the purpose God gave us. David was a boy of great faith who trusted God to defeat his giant Goliath; he didn’t allow fear and doubt to stop him from being the person and accomplishing the goals God desired of him. Today, as we analyze the life of this successful man, I challenge you to be like David and also become a person of success in God’s estimation by encouraging you in your lifetime not to let fear and doubt prevent you from becoming a person of great faith who achieved their God-given dream.
Charles Stanley once said, “Success is the continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be and accomplishing the goals God has helped you to set.” To experience success in God’s way, we must not let fear and doubt influence our decision-making in a way that impedes us from doing God’s will for our life. Especially when we face trials or tests of faith, we must learn to manage our doubts and fears, or they will become a giant that tyrannizes our lives and possibly the freedoms of others. We must not let the doubts and fears of uncertainty become a stronghold in our lives.
David was a successful man who didn’t allow doubt and fear to impede him from having sufficient faith to rely upon God’s protection, deliverance, and empowerment to defeat Goliath, a test of faith that God gave David. David’s purpose of defeating Goliath was achieved as the Israelites found freedom from the Philistines. God received glory as people saw God’s faithfulness and power revealed, and David later became king of Israel. In Acts 13:22, God viewed David as “a man after God’s own heart, for he would do everything God wanted him to do.” David didn’t allow fear and doubt to stop him from doing God’s will.
Many people today probably marvel at the courage displayed by David in defeating Goliath and think: “David was some sort of super warrior, unlike me.” However, the David and Goliath story emphasizes God’s faithfulness and omnipotence in defeating the giant rather than David’s courage. David was just an ordinary boy with solid faith – a tiny mustard seed faith that grew over time as God used smaller tests of faith (with lions and bears, for example) to evolve his faith, eventually make it strong enough to trust in God sufficiently (and not let fear and doubt of uncertainty control him) to defeat Goliath through the empowerment of God. Everyone, including David, has struggled with doubt and fear. However, David believed that the battle was God’s and not his own, and his faith thought God was bigger than the giant trial he faced (Goliath).
We often believe the lie that if a situation is impossible for us to handle, then it must also be impossible for God. Fear and doubt caused King Saul and his men to believe that, thinking that since they could not defeat Goliath, God must also be unable to do so. However, David’s faith was firmly confident that his God would beat the giant trial (Goliath) in his life. David believed God was bigger than any trial he would face and that God would give David protection and victory over Goliath. In all our problems, we must also believe that God is bigger than the giant we face and that He would give us victory over it if we firmly placed our faith in God’s hands.
David relied upon the power of God and not his abilities to defeat Goliath. Before facing Goliath, David recalled how God helped him win his previous battles against lions and bears (1 Samuel 17:34-36), and this remembrance strengthened David’s faith. David was confident in God’s promises and faithfulness not to break any of them. I strongly believe the fact that David firmly trusted in God’s promises was one of the biggest reasons his mustard seed faith overcame doubt and fear when facing Goliath.
When we face our giants and experience doubt and fear, we always should focus on God’s promises and perfect character, including His goodness, sovereignty, omnipotence, omniscience, unfailing love, and faithfulness. Confidence in God’s character, His perfect deliverance, and His unbreakable promises strengthen our faith and give us the courage to face trials.
Courage helps us persevere and move onward with life despite doubt and fear. Bad faith in God’s ability to keep His promises weakens our faith and courage. And without courage, we become powerless to face scary situations when our faith is small.
The Word of God contains God’s promises. Thus, when fighting our battles against fear and doubt, we should have the sword (Word of God) and the shield of faith as our weapons. Since “faith comes from hearing, by hearing the Word of God” (Romans 10:17), we should continually study God’s Word, especially His promises, as we fight against doubt and fear. Debbie Macomber once said, “Feed your faith, and your doubts will starve to death.” And when your “doubts starve to death,” so will your fears also starve, as doubt fuels fear.
Doubt your doubts
Don’t listen to doubt. Take captive your thoughts when doubt creeps in by quoting a promise of God. Believe in God’s character and that He will never break a promise. To battle fear, we must first attack doubt by having sufficient faith in God’s promises. And once we overcome fear and doubt, we, like David, can now trust in and rely upon God’s empowerment to overcome our life giants.
Most of our fears about uncertainty either fail to take place or, if they do happen, are exaggerated in the harm it causes. The brain is an “anticipation machine.” Since we aren’t omniscient and cannot know the future with complete certainty before it happens, our brain, as it tries to protect our body from experiencing potential future danger, tries to make “educated guesses of what will happen” to keep us safe. Since it is better to be “safe than sorry” in the brain’s estimations, it tends to make pessimistic assessments of the stimuli that its senses detect, often even after no “concrete evidence” supporting that observation. Once we perceive a future event as being potentially dangerous, the body’s fight or flight response becomes one of fear and anxiety. When the fear becomes more intense, our mind becomes even more assured of danger happening in the future. Sometimes the brain is correct in its estimation of hazards being present in the future but overly exaggerates the potential severity of the problem. This observation also intensifies fear, which again makes also more assured of a catastrophe happening.
Fear is “false evidence appearing real.” Thus, we should constantly critically assess whether or not fear is natural when experiencing a fearful thought.
The greater our fear, the stronger our faith must be to tackle the fear of uncertainty. Either ignorance of God’s promises, or a lack of trust in them, intensifies the anxiety and fear of the person. In addition to God’s promises, our faith should also trust in God’s goodness, sovereignty, omnipotence, faithfulness, unfailing love, and perfect deliverance when afraid of a trial.
“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” (Psalm 112:7)
As our mind ponders the “what ifs” of life and starts to believe bad things would inevitably happen. As we get anxious and fearful, we must realize that even if the “what ifs” do happen, “the Lord is our Shepherd” and that “we will always have everything we need in life” (Psalm 23:1). God, who sent Christ to die on the cross so we can be free, totally loves all His children and desires to “give them all good gifts” (Matthew 7:11).
God again gives us all unavoidable faith tests to strengthen our faith and perseverance. In planning our trials, God will never give us one we cannot handle through His empowerment. He filters every life experience we face and has a divine purpose for good for every situation we experience (see Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11). He truly loves us and will never bring us a trial that we cannot handle through Him, and everything He allows, He already filtered through, and knows our breaking points and will always provide deliverance in His perfect timing as He wants to stretch our faith without breaking us. “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later” (Romans 8:18).
1 Corinthians 15:58 says we are to “be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” Doing this requires great faith and perseverance. However, Jon Bloom once wrote: “God does not want us to be strong. God wants to be our strength.”
According to Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Even though we will experience trials in this world, we can be confident in God’s ability to give us victory because Jesus lives inside us, and He has “overcome the world.” Jesus said in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
Read also Deuteronomy 31:6 when uncertainty makes you terrified: “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid, and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” When afraid, listen to Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know I am God.”
Surrender your fears to Abba Father as you place your trust in His perfect goodness, sovereignty, faithfulness, unfailing love, protection, and omnipotence. Ask Him to empower you to have sufficient faith and courage to face your fears and doubts.
Philippians 4:6-7 says: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” (Eph 6:10)
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
David’s purpose revealed God’s glory as God used David’s life to give many people freedom as David did the impossible through God’s empowerment. David was also a success in God’s eyes because of his faithfulness to God’s purpose.
God has a giant-sized purpose for you to achieve, which may require overcoming life giants. He will give you tests of faith to mature your faith and perseverance, so you will have sufficient character to achieve your purpose through the power of God. God also can use our trials to reveal His glory to the unsaved and hopeless. Are you going to become a successful Christian by becoming the person and accomplishing the goals God has set for you? Or will you let the fears and doubts associated with uncertainty become a giant that terrifies and immobilizes you? The choice is up to you.
Life is full of unknowns. Just because we have fears and doubts, we should not let them control our destiny and the freedoms of others.
Step out in faith. Believe God can do the impossible. Don’t let fear and doubt prevent you from becoming the person and doing the things God purposed for you. Never underestimate what God can do in your life. He is looking for a surrendering heart that also trusts in Him.