Romans 15:4 tells us: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
It is usually after Christmas and into January that people begin to experience waves of worry, doubt and fear. Along with the New Year comes concerns about how one will overcome what can be sometimes the anxieties associated with mounting expectations for the upcoming year.
So, what is the difference between doubt, worry and fear? For Christians, doubt has to do with resistance to past insights from God and His Word spoken to me in the past. Fear has to do with my hesitation in responding to God and His Word in the present. If doubt has to do with what God said in the past, and fear has to do with how I’m relating to Him in the present, then worry deals with my perceptions of what He will do in the future. These spiritual maladies lie in the background of many of the garden variety worries, doubts and fears we experience on a daily basis. Dr. Adrian Rogers has noted that worry is a mild form of atheism. When one really thinks about it - doubt, fear and worry are species of unbelief.
Now in pointing these things out, I certainly do not claim to be immune from such maladies. I find at times such states of anxiety coming over me like the periodic waves that roll onto the beach due to the invisible tug of the moon's gravity in the patterns of tide. The anxious soul can drift into such states without hardly being aware. Experiencing such things is not a sin itself, as long as we don't entertain them and give into their lies. If we do, there are provisions of grace to overcome them. These three emotional and spiritual states are weaponry used by the enemy to plague the people of God. The Christian's spiritual warfare includes battling these species of unbelief that want to run unchecked in the human heart. When left untamed, doubt, fear and worry will contribute to blurring our vision of God and His character.
Remember, use your sword in battling worry, fear and doubt
So if you are in the midst of darkness, note that God’s word gives you provision to enjoy an open heaven, a noonday sun despite the midnight of your circumstance. Psalm 37:7 tells us to “rest in the Lord” and in verse 8 to “cease from anger”. We are not promised immunity from trouble, however we are given the “rest of God” whereby we can rise above doubt, worry and fear. So heed the warning and walk in God's rest as you battle doubt, worry and fear. But now notice one final strategy in overcoming worry, fear and doubt...
3. Winning the battle (by knowing that God is fighting for you)