Ignoring the Face of Fear

Fear.

It’s there, whispering to you in the dark. Telling you you’re wasting your time, that you’ll never make it, that no one cares what you have to say. It eats at you when you try to write, telling you those words you just crafted are garbage. It crawls up your spine when you finally work up the courage to send out a proposal for review, telling you the only response you’ll get is rejection. Or ridicule. But you know what?

Fear is a liar. A deceiver. And one of the most effective weapons the enemy uses to undermine writers as they seek to accomplish the task God has given them. So let’s deal with fear’s lies the way Jesus did—with God’s truths. Let’s study, maybe even memorize so we can use them to ignore fear. To turn from it and remind our quaking hearts that with God, fear has no power. Here are some of God’s Truths for:

Writers’ Obstacle #3: Fear

Leviticus 26:6—And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid.

Deuteronomy 7:9–Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

Isaiah 41:10–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.

Joshua 1:9–Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 43:1-3–But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you…he who formed you…“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

1 Peter 5:6-11–So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith…In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.

My friends, that roaring lion loves to slip up next to you and let loose one of those terrifying roars right in your ear, so you feel it down into your bones. But your God is there. Let Him free you from the bonds of fear, so you can walk in peace and confidence. He’s got this, friends. And He’s got you.

 

57 Responses to Ignoring the Face of Fear

  1. Kirsten Panachyda April 5, 2017 at 5:11 am #

    Oh man, this is one obstacle that loves to try to slip under my feet and trip me up. “Fear is a liar.” Yep, but thank God our eyes are open. Thank you Karen for infusing us with courage!

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

      You’re so welcome! And I know exactly what you mean. It’s a sneaky one. 🙂

  2. Chris Storm April 5, 2017 at 5:14 am #

    Not only are you an incredible agent, but also now a mind reader? The Holy Spirit moves again! Thank you for these God given truths! I’ll be carrying them with me! (Actually, they will be carrying me!)

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:51 pm #

      “Actually, they’ll be carrying me.”

      Exactly as it should be, Chris. Hugs to you!

  3. Lara Elliott April 5, 2017 at 5:21 am #

    Thank you for this. The verses were unexpected, but exactly what I needed. I have had many moments as I struggle as a new writer where I doubt that this is really what I should be doing. God usually finds a way to remind me that He told me to be a writer. And so I continue on. Finding your post today was just what I needed. God is good.

  4. Jon Guenther April 5, 2017 at 5:27 am #

    Just simply have to say this is a wonderful post today. Thank you, Karen! 🙂

  5. Dineen Miller April 5, 2017 at 5:31 am #

    2 Timothy 1:7
    For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

  6. Jennifer April 5, 2017 at 5:36 am #

    My biggest obstacle. So glad I’m not struggling with this alone.

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

      Not by a country mile. I’m betting we all wrestle with this one at some point.

  7. Connie Almony April 5, 2017 at 5:56 am #

    One of the most wonderful things that has happened to me on this writer journey is that I have had many opportunities to chat with some of my favorite authors or see them talk about their journey. And guess what they all admit to as being one of their biggest obstacles? Fear that their writing isn’t good enough. Just recently, one favorite author showed me her manuscript with editor’s notes. Oh my goodness! It looked as red as mine does! So maybe this awesome author is as human as I am. So maybe she needs a detail-oriented teammate to help her iron out her rough spots. Those are two important themes in the Bible. 1) God using the imperfect to do big things; and 2) Using the Body of Christ and its different parts to achieve His Will. I know this and yet I still need to be reminded … often. Thanks Karen!

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

      Wonderful insights, Connie. Thanks so much.

  8. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 5, 2017 at 6:17 am #

    Great post, and very apt for me. I’ve completely lost confidence in my work and future, and the encouragement I try to offer others seems to apply to everyone but me.

    Part of this no doubt stems from an illness that was supposed to kill me several years ago (Doctor to wife: “He’s STILL alive??”) and is now, with each day, bringing levels of pain and discomfort I could scarcely have imagined. Meremly typing these words is a lengthy and wracking ordeal, and I dread what the day will bring. And tomorrow will be worse.

    Yes, I’m terrified. In years past I could and did do things that made lesser men quail; physical courage was never something I lacked (and neither was humility). But this…there comes a point where courage of any type falters, and has to be replaced by something else if one is to carry on with any worthwhile work.

    Again without invoking humility, I think the answer, for me, is in my presence here, and in my phrase (rather than One Word) for 2017 – “You don’t have to like it, but you have to show up.”

    Fear is OK. There’s no shame in it, no unworthiness. Just show up, for one more hour.

    I ask your pardon, Karen, for this lengthy comment.

    • Carol Ashby April 5, 2017 at 10:28 am #

      You reminded me of the John Wayne quote, Andrew.
      “Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.”
      That’s really what God calls us to do, and He’ll help us with the rest.

      • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 5, 2017 at 10:35 am #

        Years ago I crawled into an overturned and burning car to make ready to pull the driver out, if I could, if the flames got too bad (we were waiting for a backboard, because her neck was messed up).

        If the car went up I’d have fried too, and I was inwardly cursing the driver and the road and everything I could think of. When we got her out – safely (yes, the car did go up a few minutes later) I let out some bad language that would have raised eyebrows in hell.

        A firefighter said to me, “You’re pretty mad, yeah?”

        “Yeah.”

        “Wished you were somewhere else, yeah?”

        “Yeah.”

        “Good think God’s deaf. He only saw what you did.”

      • Nicola April 5, 2017 at 11:54 am #

        Do you know, this is the second time today I have read that quote, never having seen it before, and from two unrelated (How does one add emphasis without adverbs?) sources.
        After reading it the first time, I did something I had dreaded for a long time. Now I read it again and I feel confirmed. Thank you!

        • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 5, 2017 at 11:58 am #

          Nicola, you just flat-out made my day. Thank YOU! 🙂

        • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm #

          Thank you for sharing, Nicola. Isn’t it amazing how God uses us in each others’ lives?

      • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

        One of my favorite coffee mugs has a picture of John Wayne with this quote. When the words are true and powerful enough, even a coffee mug can be profound. 🙂

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

      No pardon needed, Andrew. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  9. Amanda Cleary Eastep April 5, 2017 at 7:04 am #

    I’ve wondered what change believing writers could make in the world if we didn’t let fear rule us. I’m meditating on these verses, especially now. Thank you for sharing them and for writing this great series!

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

      You’re welcome, Amanda. I love that you’re meditating on them. Exactly what we need to do. Can you imagine the change Believers, writers or not, could bring about if we could quote God’s Word as readily as we can quote movies?

  10. Glenda April 5, 2017 at 7:20 am #

    Karen, thank you for this timely post!

    Isaiah 43:1-3 especially encouraged me.

    We belong to God. He is with us. We can trust Him
    to bring us through every writing tsunami and inferno.

    Yes.

  11. rochellino April 5, 2017 at 8:24 am #

    There is no reason to fear. This isn’t life or death, nowhere near. Your manuscript may meet an undignified end being smothered under an enormous slushpile never to be heard from again or discovered long after your death by an archeological team but YOU, personally, will survive.

    Yes, the publishing world IS a jungle. Deal with it fearlessly, here’s how.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQitsOAvEus

  12. Joey Rudder April 5, 2017 at 11:22 am #

    What a powerful post! I love the Scriptures you’ve listed, especially Isaiah 43:1-3.

    God brings such strength and victory when we speak His Word; the walls of fear the enemy tries to build up around us to hold us back crumble before our eyes so we can step right over the pile of rubble to accomplish God’s will, bring Him glory, and leave that old devil in the dust.

    Thank you so much, Karen! 🙂

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      I love the imagery you use, Joey. Thank you.

  13. Melissa Henderson April 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    When fear tries to conquer my writing ability, I will not let fear prevail. I trust God. 🙂

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:01 pm #

      Amen, Melissa. And even more encouraging, GOD will not let fear prevail. I love that we can rest in and rely on Him.

  14. Linda April 5, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

    I constantly battle the fear some disaster is lurking around the corner. Satan loves this because it immobilizes me into a blubbering mess of anxiety and discouragement. Thank you for the scripture verses to help remind me He does indeed have this and more importantly He has me.

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

      Linda, there’s more coming. Next week I share verses for discouragement, and anxiety Scriptures are on their way too! Don’t you love how these words written so long ago are as powerful and applicable today as when they were inscribed? God is amazing.

  15. Frenchy Dennis April 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    Are you living in my mind? The big fear has frozen me for the last two months. So here’s to you for laying it out in front of me and renewing my hope. Thanks.

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

      I’m living in a writers’ mind–my own! I’m so happy God is using His Word to release you from the ice. 🙂

  16. Sheri Dean Parmelee April 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    Karen, have you been sitting behind my computer chair? The idea of “no one will want to hear what you have to say” has crossed my mind numerous times. You are either a genius, a mind-reader, or very experienced at this type of work (I’m betting on the latter).

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

      Well, I’m little of all of them–as are all writers.

  17. Rebecca LuElla Miller April 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    Another wonderful post, Karen. So great to think about those verses in light of the writing life. Thank you for putting them together.

    Becky

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

      Becky, you’re welcome. I’m delighted you find them helpful!

  18. Effie-Alean Gross April 5, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    Karen,
    Your words are a great reminder of how our God overcomes obstacles, including our own fears and doubts. I’ve decided to invest in my writing in a unique way as a result of listening to God. By faith, I am taking a huge step in an area I’ve never even considered before…a short video promoting my non-fiction book. The cost is more than I expected, and at times I’ve had doubts. Then, I read Judges 14 of how Sampson killed a lion and later found and ate the honey in its carcass. In the strength of the Spirit of the Lord, I’m looking forward to slaying fear and enjoying the sweet success of publication and more.
    ~~Effie-Alean Gross

    • Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

      And the even sweeter success of obedience. 🙂

  19. Carolyn Knefely April 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    Power packed posted.
    It’s filled with truth and encouragement.
    Teach on!

  20. Janet Ann Collins April 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    What an inspiring post! I’ll print this one out and save it.

  21. Rebekah Love Dorris April 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    “‘Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.’

    “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground:and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.”

    – 2 Chronicles 20:17-18

    Thanks for these treasures. I love them every one.

  22. Judith Robl April 5, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    False
    Evidence
    Appearing
    Real

    Thank you for the reminder, Karen, that fear is a lie of the enemy. He has no power. But we know the One Who has all the power. We need to be reminded – often.

  23. Karen Ball April 5, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Amen, Judith. And thank you for the acrostic!

  24. Kathleen Y'Barbo April 6, 2017 at 7:00 am #

    Never has a blog post been better timed. Bless you for being faithful to post this.

    • Karen Ball April 6, 2017 at 11:21 am #

      Kathleen, I’m so glad it helped. Sending you hugs today.

  25. Peggy Booher April 6, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Karen,

    Thanks for taking the time to get these verses together. Right now some circumstances around me are provoking fear and anxiety. But early this morning the Lord gave me a picture in my mind of a fog of anxiety-producing things–and the fog cleared slightly to show the Lord right there in the middle, reaching out to me to come to His side. So many verses of Scripture show the Lord with us. He is not “way out there”, but He is alongside us.

    • Karen Ball April 6, 2017 at 11:22 am #

      Amen, Peggy! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  26. Damon J. Gray April 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    Karen, SO many of my favorite encouragement passages in your post. Thank you for the reminder.

    I always loved the response of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to King Neb when he threatened them with the furnace.

    My paraphrase, “Mister King, we have no need to defend ourselves before you. If you toss us into the fire, our God is able to rescue us from your hand. But EVEN IF HE DOESN’T, know this – we will never serve your gods or worship the idol you have set up.”

  27. Cynthia Mahoney April 8, 2017 at 9:26 pm #

    Karen,

    Thank you. I needed Joshua 1:9 today. Discouragement over my second WIP in the face of plot holes bigger than an event horizon and alpha comments suggesting the characters just shoot themselves (LOL) … I readied to put it in a circular file.

    More than you know, thank you for the words you write and the Scripture that meets us–each in our own place. The ‘be strong and courageous’ part comes after I have overcome my discouragement (just did, thank you), beat that WIP into submission and send the final MS out the door or email.

  28. Pearl Allard May 26, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    Karen, you could sell “tattoos for writers” with these thoughts! Ha ha But seriously, this is a post I’m bookmarking for the hard days. Really appreciate your words and the Word you shared. Thank you!

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