Faith Opposed To Fear, How To Overcome Fear
Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.
The Opposite of Fear is Faith.
In all human beings both conditions exist at some point or another in their life. In fact, the "wrestle" between the two probably exists on a daily basis.
One might ask, what exactly is faith?
In the New Testament, in the epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, we are given a definition of faith as follows:
The prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon gives further definition to the term:
Added insight for the term faith could be found in the Bible Dictionary of the King James Version of The Bible, used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11: 1; Alma 32: 21), and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone. The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character, possessing in their fulness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation. Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith (Rom. 10: 14-17). Miracles do not produce faith but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often confirm one's faith.
Faith is a principle of action and of power, and by it one can command the elements and/or heal the sick, or influence any number of circumstances when occasion warrants (Jacob 4: 4-7). Even more important, by faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can stand in the presence of God.
All true faith must be based upon correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results. Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel and is more than belief, since true faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action; it carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for. A lack of faith leads one to despair, which comes because of iniquity.
Although faith is a gift, it must be cultured and sought after until it grows from a tiny seed to a great tree.
Plant The Seed
Help It Grow
Learn, Do, Know
For us to have the faith that is required to dispel all fear "unto attaining life and salvation", we must understand our relationship to Deity. We must understand that God does exist, then we must have a correct idea of his character, his perfections, and his attributes, and finally we must understand the course that we are pursuing is in accordance to His mind and will. We can gain that understanding by studying His word. We might compare this study of His word to the seed of faith being planted in our hearts.
The next step that is required for our faith to grow or "sprout" is one of action or application. To increase our faith we must actually "do" or apply His words to our actions and see the results, or affect, it has on our lives. We must learn and then do. This might be commonly referred to as "not only talking the talk but walking the walk." This pathway or walk takes us from learn, to do, and then to "know." This is the process of growth and development in all areas of life. Notice how a child learns to walk. First he learns by example of others, then he tries to do it (falling down often), until he knows how to walk. The process of acquiring perfect faith and dispelling fear is just the same.
This "wrestle" between faith and fear that occurs throughout our life is the refining process that the Lord uses to test or try us to see if we can become what we have the potential to become, a literal heir "to all that the Father has." It is a matter of reconciling the part in us that is divine and pure, our spirit, with the part of us that is "natural" or carnal, the body. Christ referred to this exact thing when He described the nature of his apostles as, "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
In the book of Mosiah, in the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin explains this process of reconciliation as he addressed his people:
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
This process of action, when achieved results in a "unified" individual, one who is undivided. For the Savior cautioned, "If ye are not one, ye are not mine." This undivided individual has learned to overcome the passions of the flesh and to submit to the will of the Father, through the spirit. This is the process of attaining perfect faith, and requires action, unto knowledge.
Paul describes this process in his epistle to the Ephesians:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
The key to gaining this understanding is given to us in the epistle of James, chapter 1:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
You Can Know
To reconcile oneself to Christ is the process of developing perfect faith in Him, putting off the "natural man" or carnal self, who is the creator of doubts and fear, and becoming unified in body and mind with Him who redeemed us. This is the path that we walk daily. This is the reason we were put here on this earth, to come to this ultimate goal. When this is achieved we will be like Him. Thus when He comes again, we will recognize Him because we will be like Him, one with Him as He is with the Father.
Such was the process that Jacob, son of Isaac, went through in his "wrestle" with a man. It is there he overcame the fear of man and received perfect faith.
This is the first HUB in a three part series: