Facing Down My Fears
Mary Wisen - Women’s Bible Study Teacher
The story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. I often imagine myself in the middle of that story and the walls of water on either side of my path as I walk. I imagine being in awe as I watch God protect and save me and my community once again. I imagine watching the Egyptians approach with intent to capture and enslave us, but then feeling overwhelming relief as they are dominated by the Lord’s power.
And I often catch myself thinking, “Wow, if I could see God move in that way then I would never deal with fear or worry in my life…”
…or would I?
The Israelites Had No Reason To Fear
Did you know that the Israelites had been told by God directly that the Egyptians were going to come chase them? And that God promised he would deliver them and destroy the Egyptians? Seriously, God laid out the plan so they wouldn’t be surprised…
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front
of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp
facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in
the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will
pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall
know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 14:1–4)
And yet, what happened when the Israelites saw the Egyptians pursuing them? Panic, fear, and crazy statements about not having enough space in Egypt for their graves. The Lord should have rolled his eyes and given them over to their fears; but instead God did what He promised. He saved — and it was in stupendous fashion!
We’re More Like The Israelites Than We Think
How often are we just like the Israelites? God promises He will be with us, yet we try and battle life on our own. God tells us He has set us apart, yet we fear being different. God says He is in control, yet we panic when our plans don’t pan out.
God is a God of rock-solid promises. He has not once failed us. He always hears and He always shows up. And some of the best news of all is that it doesn’t depend on us!
When we are faithless, God is still faithful. When we are fearful, God is still steadfast. When we fail, God is still holy. When we panic, God is still gracious. In our lives, these promises of God are the foundation we base our faith on.
However, let’s not pretend that the circumstances that come our way aren’t hard or scary. Even after being given the play-by-play of the Egyptians future pursuit, the Israelites were still scared and had to travel through the middle of a sea by faith.
Faith in God’s Promises is How We Fight Fear
Faith is believing in the Word of God and acting on it, no matter how I feel, because God promises a good result.
The Israelites were scared but had to walk through the sea by faith — faith that God was who He said He was and that He was going to do what He said he was going to do.
And we need to do the same.
When life is hard or scary, we need to run to the truth of God — His promises and character —and act in faith because of who God is, not who we are or what we feel.
When we face a health crisis or a job loss, we can have the faith to pray without abandon because we know that God hears our prayers and cares about us. When someone hurts us, we can have the faith to forgive and trust because we have been forgiven much and we know that God is trustworthy. When we are scared of the future, we can have faith to serve God in the present and have patience for wisdom because we know that God is in control of everything.
Is there something in your life that is filling your heart with fear? What promises of God do you need to run to? Are you living out of faith in those promises or fear of your circumstances?