Fear is a powerful tool of the enemy. It paralyzes a person into inactivity that can eventually cascade into depression if not dealt with. I was a bit skittish as a kid and I don’t know any teenager who doesn’t go a little emo from time to time. But I would have never categorized myself as fearful or depressed. When I graduated from Bible College, I was so excited to conquer the world for Christ. I was confident in my Savior and ready to do whatever God told me to do.

A fight with depression in my early 20’s changed all of that. Oh, I didn’t emerge from it cranky and skeptical. I just realized I wasn’t so immune to fear and depression as I imagined. When the Lord rescued me from depression, I had a new compassion for those who are struggling with it and had a sober understanding that my confidence needed to be completely in the Lord.

“You’re afraid to fail.”

It was a shocker to hear the Lord speak these words to me 15 years later (the other night). During my bout with depression, I struggled because I thought I had messed up my entire life. My fear was that I had failed to a point of no return. But, I never thought of myself as a person who feared failure. I’ll do anything God wants me to, right?

The Lord, in his gentleness, showed me I wasn’t seeing myself correctly. I hadn’t been faithful in some of the things He wanted to me to be gung-ho for because a fear of failure was paralyzing me into inactivity. Isn’t God awesome to reveal these things! As I assessed the truths God was exposing to me, I realized I needed to start combating this fear instead of ignoring it.

Most people say the opposite of fear is faith. And while that’s true, what exactly does that mean? “Just believe” sounds like a bad PBS kids show solution. I John 4:18-19 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” When I become fearful about something, it’s because I’m not completely resting in God’s love for me. As a result, I’m left with myself (or others) to trust in and I know how untrustworthy that is. So, I begin to worry and lose heart. If God tells me to do something, His love means He will be with me through it and empower me to obey Him. God doesn’t fail. It’s not in His DNA. When I know He loves me and all the benefits that come from that, it means I can’t fail.

“But I do fail”, you might say. I’d add the words “a lot”. But here’s the truth. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we believe not, he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” In light of all the accusations the enemy throws at us, Romans 8:37 says, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” And ultimately, in the end, we win. “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads (Revelation 22:3-4).”

In my family, if we mess up, we put our forefinger and thumb in the shape of an “L” on our forehead. Jesus puts a different name on our forehead. Victor!

I’m so thankful I don’t have to fear failure. I can throw myself into everything God tells me to do, knowing He loves me and sees me as a success because I obey him, regardless of the results. And when I fail, I’m so thankful He’s big enough to overcome my disobedience and make me more like Him in the process.

Are you struggling with fear of failure, other fears, or even depression? Have you taken the time today to thank God for how much He loves you and to stand on His promises? Take some time to remember all He did for you on the cross and then purpose in your heart to trust in His love and leave the results up to Him as you obey His voice!