3. Learn to fight fear with fear.
There’s a close connection between fear and confidence. Generally speaking, increased fear results in decreased confidence; increased confidence results in decreased fear. That’s why most “how to build confidence” articles tell us that the key to building confidence is to conquer fear.
The Bible’s instruction on how to grow more confident doesn’t exactly follow this popular formula. It positions the fear of the Lord against other fears. Just as there is a wrong and a right kind of confidence, there is a wrong and a right kind of fear. And Scripture indicates that the way to combat the former is with the latter. The way to fight fear is with fear of a different kind. “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence” (Prov.14:26).
The Bible is clear that people who put their faith in God through Jesus Christ have a markedly different relationship to fear than people who don’t. As believers, our lives are directed by holy fear. We fear God; therefore, we’re not afraid of other things. We don’t fear people. We don’t fear sickness or death. We don’t fear failure, embarrassment, or loss. We don’t fear the things that other people fear. (At least, with God’s help, we’re learning not to.)
The Lord warned Isaiah not to fear the things that others feared but to keep his fear in the right place: Let the Lord be your fear. Let him be your dread. (Isa. 8:11-13). God’s point was that Isaiah needed to fight fear with fear. Fearing God more would help him fear other things less. Fearing God would increase his confidence.
You see, the Lord wants to put fear and confidence back in their proper place—the place they occupied before sin messed everything up. God wants to crush the negative, apprehensive, lie-based fear that is such a powerful tool of the Enemy and reinstate the positive, reverent, truth-based fear that originally existed in the human heart.
The third way to build strong confidence is to cultivate a holy, reverent fear of the Lord—the kind of fear that renders you gob-smacked and awestruck by the One who is greater, bigger, and more powerful than anything that threatens to do you harm.
4. Consult your confidence coach.
Do you know that God has provided you with a personal Confidence Coach? His name is “the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.” which is another name for God’s Holy Spirit. During Jesus’ earthly tenure, the Spirit of the fear of the Lord rested on Jesus and infused him with strength and courage (Heb. 5:7).
The Spirit of the fear of the Lord frees you from bondage to other fears (Rom. 8:15). Reverent fear calms apprehensive fear. The right kind of fear frees you from the wrong kind of fear.
Fearing God isn’t some pie-in-the-sky, boring, irrelevant theory. It offers you real, down-to-earth, practical hope and help in your battle against worry, doubt, and insecurity. The fantastic news is that God has already given you everything you need for victory. If you believe in Jesus, the Spirit of the fear of the Lord already lives within you. That means you have a live-in confidence coach. Whenever fears and insecurities crop up in your heart, you can turn to your coach for help. He will comfort you, guide you, teach you, and infuse you with the right kind of confidence.
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