The Pathway of Faith
Watch The Pathway of Faith video.
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Scripture: Scripture: Isaiah 41:8-13
I. Introduction: Even in troubling times, followers of Jesus Christ can choose to walk in faith rather than in fear. Our relationship with the Lord gives us the ability to face hardship with confidence in His provision and care. As God’s children, we can rest in the Father’s promise that He will supply all we need.
II. Fear does not fit who we are as children of God.
- The Lord says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).
- A fearful spirit is not from God (2 Tim. 1:7). If anxiety prevents you from resting at night or hinders your obedience, you are not demonstrating trust in the Lord. Genuine faith and overwhelming fear are incompatible.
III. Fear affects a person in many different ways. It . . .
- Causes confusion. A fearful person will have a difficult time thinking clearly.
- Contributes to indecision. When someone is afraid of making a mistake, he or she often delays making any choice at all.
- Hinders us from accomplishing God’s will. An apprehensive person misses opportunities because he or she expects failure.
- Damages self-confidence. Frightened people can seem insecure and incompetent because they doubt their ability to succeed.
- Affects our relationships.
- Can lead to full-blown panic.
- Sometimes drives people to drug or alcohol abuse.
IV. God does not want us to walk in fear.
- Jesus reassured His followers that they didn’t have to worry about food, drink, and clothing (Matt. 6:31-33).
- Fearing God does not mean cowering in terror. Instead, it means that we are to revere the Lord and stand in awe of Him. Only those who have not received Christ or walk in deliberate rebellion against Him have a legitimate reason to be afraid of God.
V. What is the pathway of faith?
- Focus on the Lord, not the source of your fears. Instead of dwelling on your problems, choose to think about God’s absolute sovereignty over everything (Ps. 103:19). If you and I are living godly lives, the Lord will turn everything for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). Disappointments may come, but they don’t have to discourage us.
- Face moments of doubt and fear by asking the following questions.
- Where did these doubts originate? Because God says He did not give us a spirit of fear, we know they cannot be from Him.
- Has God ever failed me in the past? You may be facing a difficult situation, but remind yourself of those times when the Lord provided for you.
- Doesn’t Scripture say that the Father will meet all my needs? The Lord promises to provide for His people (Phil. 4:19).
- Why should I ever imagine I’m on my own when trying to do what God requires? You and I can have the power, provision, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, just as the New Testament saints did (Acts 1:8).
- Didn’t He promise to be with me at all times? If you have trusted Jesus as your personal Savior, you will never be alone again. Christ promised He would neither leave nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5).
- Is anything too hard for God? No. Boldly express your confidence and trust in the Lord.
- Is this a fork in the road where my unbelief could cost me a lifetime of regret? When you face major decisions, be especially careful to act in faith rather than fear.
- Feed on God’s Word. Believers are constantly bombarded with worldly lies that distort their perspective and contribute to anxiety. That’s why we must constantly renew our minds with the Word of God (Ps. 119:97-105). As Scripture reminds us, we have a relationship with the Lord that can cancel all our fears (Is. 41:10); we’ve also been given the promise that the Holy Spirit will be our Helper (John 14:16-17). God loves you; allow the Bible to guide and comfort you in times of uncertainty.
- Forge ahead, no matter what people say. Sometimes others will try to discourage you from stepping out in faith, so be careful to reject ungodly advice. And don’t allow adversity to dampen your enthusiasm for pursuing God. Follow the example of the apostle Paul, who, despite difficulties (2 Cor. 11:24-25), never stopped serving the Lord.
- Faithfully and courageously choose to obey God. A believer who is committed to following Jesus has nothing to fear. Obeying the Lord brings blessing, and He promises to use adversity for our good.
VI. Conclusion: When you and I focus on our circumstances, we can find many reasons to feel afraid. But that is not God’s will for His people. Psalm 103:19 says, “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” As believers, you and I have the assurance that God is always with us. We need not fear, because He strengthens and helps us in every situation.