Fight Fear With Faith

Fight Fear with Faith

I have been clenching my jaw for a while now. It started when I broke up with a friend earlier this summer. After five plus years of trying to fix her—not healthy for her or me—I chose to distance myself and in that process, my jaw-clenching habit began. It now has become my body’s go-to response to stressful situations. Like fear. Fear is something I’ve struggled with all my life.

Apparently I’m not the only one who knows about my fear factor. Two summers ago, we traveled to Puerto Rico and on the flight there, I felt God say, “Spend this week facing your fears.” Wanting to be obedient, and feeling significant bladder pressure, I headed to the airplane bathroom. I hate those things. The toilets flush with such force I worry that I’ll be sucked out of the plane into the sky where I’ll fall forever screaming, “I knew this would happen!” and, “Man, I hate heights!”

Bolstered by my initial success, during the next week, I tamped down my aversion to physical risks in order to enjoy a number of adventures with my family. We hiked steep trails, unfortunately devoid of safety railings, through the mountainous rain forest region. We kayaked in complete darkness through mangrove stands to marvel at one of Puerto Rico’s three bioluminescent bays. On a sailboat outing, I donned snorkeling gear and pressed my face into the aquamarine water over a dozen times until the I-can’t-breathe-I’m-going-to-die panic was replaced with a holy-cow-look-at-all-those-fish delight.

For me, it’s an ongoing battle—fighting fear. So much so, that I recently sought the Lord in the hours just before dawn. I told him I needed a fear-fighting plan, a system. He obliged, with a really cool acronym. FEAR: Fight Enemy Attacks with _____. But what does the ‘R’ stand for, Lord? Rhema. I’d heard the word before but didn’t recall its meaning so I Googled it and found this: “an utterance, a portion of scripture that speaks to a believer. The Rhema word is timely and extremely valuable in a Christian’s walk with God.”

But which scripture is my Rhema word?  Good thing I had a pen in hand because immediately, God started firing verses at me and not just 2 Timothy 1:7 and Joshua 1:9. When he was done, I had a list of 10 verses. There seemed to be a process, a flow, so I wrote each one on a slip of paper. I then arranged them in an order that makes sense to me, that soothes my anxious heart. And now, each time I feel the tightness in my lower right jaw, I locate my paper-clipped stack of verses and review each one. It’s helping a lot!

If you feel tempted, afraid, inferior, unloved—by the way, negative emotions are almost always from the enemy, not God—I recommend you ask God for a Rhema word of your own.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Diane Tarantini
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  1. Diane on October 12, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Oh my, girl! This took my breath away. Rhema. A portion of scripture that speaks to me. Can it get any more beautiful than that!? A message from God, directly to the place where we need it. Just ridiculous good! Thanks for sharing this Diane, just what I needed to put a spark in my step (can a step have spark? I think so!!!). Now to figure out my own Rhema – or Rhemas – what Fun!

  2. Gretchen on October 12, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    What a great idea! Love, love this. We talk about being armed by the word of God and being protected by His armor. This is another example of that. Brilliant. Thank you for sharing your heart on this. And good for you.

  3. Diane Tarantini on October 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Glad you found my post helpful, Diane and Gretchen. To anyone who reads this, I’m putting together a document with the 10 specific scriptures I reference in this post. If anyone wants me to send them the document, send me a message with your preferred email address via Facebook. I’ll be sure to check my “other messages” in case you and I aren’t Facebook friends. xxooxox

  4. DeeDee on October 13, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!! And I so needed it. I have been completely overwhelmed with fears (of all kinds) since the flood event in June. I know this is not how God wants me to live. Maybe it’s time for me to incorporate a new plan of attack! Thank you (as always) my friend!! ❤️❤️

  5. Diane Tarantini on October 13, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Hey DeeDee: Glad you liked this. Since I just happen to have your email address, I’ll send you my “Fight Fear with Faith” document later this week:) xoxo

  6. Kim on October 13, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    Fear- I’ve grown up with this since childhood. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I, too, am so excited to explore my rhema!!!

  7. Natalie on October 13, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    I started clenching the summer leading to my wedding. It must have been subconscious stress, since planning wasn’t THAT stressful. But now it’s become an awful habit that I find myself doing under tight editing deadlines. Thanks so much for sharing and reinforcing that, when I’m stressed and feeling pressure, there’s always time to stop for Truth.

  8. Tara on October 15, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Love this Diane and how God continues to reveal himself to us in the most wonder filled ways.
    I wear a ring each day that says “Faith Over Fear” as a reminder to look to God when something is mildly
    or majorly terrifying. Your post reminded me that I have a whole bunch of Rhemas and it would serve me well to write them down and keep them close at hand, and heart. I’ll be doing that this weekend!

  9. Diane Tarantini on October 15, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Hey everybody, you have to hear something crazy. Tara, I wrote this on your Facebook wall. So I teach in Sunday School tomorrow and guess what the scripture memory verse is? Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.” Joshua 1:9b, NIrV As the teacher prepares the lesson, the teacher learns the lesson.

  10. Jen on October 26, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Rhema. I’ve never heard that, but I’m totally going to start using it! Thank you so much for this post!

  11. Beckie Calvert on November 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    I love you, my sweet energetic friend. Love reading your words! So encouraging to me and mine!

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