Fear, Trusting God, When Fear Tests Our Faith series

Fear (Series): When We Don’t Trust

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Have you ever read a passage in the bible—one you’ve read many times before—and God just speaks to you? 

I don’t know how many times I’ve read about Saul’s and David’s lives. But this time? The Lord has shown me many things I never considered before. I noticed how differently Saul and David responded to fearful situations in our lives.

Maybe the stories of these two men spoke so deeply to my heart because I, too, have dealt with fear. I discovered some valuable, timeless lessons to take away from their examples.

Over the next few weeks, I’m sharing some insights God has given me. If you’ve missed past posts, you can find them here. I hope you’ll share your thoughts, struggles, and victories here so we can all encourage each other, and maybe even pray for each other.

*****

About a year after Hubs and I married, he attended a three-month school on the other side of the country. 

I never considered myself a fearful person . . . until I met and fell in love with my Mr Perfect-For-Me.

Those three months were some of the longest in my life. Because all of a sudden, I feared that God would take him.  

Insomnia became my companion. My overactive imagination dreamed up imaginings of worst case scenarios based on “what if’s” that slinked into my mind as I tried to fall asleep. 

I prayed each night, wishing slumber would visit. The cold space on the other half of the bed only heightened my fears. Some nights I cried until my pillow was wet. 

I struggled because I know God’s plans are good. He wants what’s best for His kids. But (gulp), what if what was “best” for me was the loss of my husband? I writhed under the weight of that question.

Reading through 1 Samuel 13, opened my eyes to details about Saul I’d never noticed before. Let me paint a word picture:

When Saul had reigned for a couple of years, the Philistines gathered to fight against Israel. With thousands of chariots in their army and even more thousands of soldiers, they intimidated Israel’s much smaller, less fortified army.

As Saul’s soldiers saw the opposition, they began to fear . . . and scattered to caves, rocks, holes and pits. 

Samuel had told Saul he would meet him in Gilgal in seven days and would offer a sacrifice to God. I picture Saul clocking the hours each day, anxiety driving him to pace as soldiers went AWOL. When the designated hour had come and gone and still no Samuel, Saul took action. 

Instead of waiting…

Instead of trusting God…

Saul did his own thing and offered the sacrifice. Even though that was not his role.

Saul could have trusted that the Lord was with him, maybe testing him. He could have trusted that God held him and Israel—the people He loved—in the palm of His hand. 

In Saul’s fear of being destroyed by the Philistines, he set an example for his people…one that said he/they didn’t need to do things God’s way, with His order.

Saul feared the Philistines more than he trusted God. The consequences for his choices were legacy-destroying. God decided to strip the kingdom from Saul because his heart didn’t seek Him.

We’ll see more of the evidences of this gaffe in Saul’s future actions, but for today, consider this:

Saul allowed fear to drive him to rash action. He didn’t stop and ask God how to proceed. Fear of the Philistines drove him to make the sacrifice that was only Samuel’s to make. 

Maybe God was testing Saul, or maybe not. Regardless, Saul failed. 

He blamed Samuel’s delay in coming rather than owning his poor choice. 

He trusted what his human eyes saw more than what God had shown him of His faithfulness

He trusted himself more than he trusted God. He played God in his own life.

How often have I fallen for the lie? I don’t see God acting in a certain circumstance. I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t do something. I take action. And, I always regret those choices.

A few things to remember when fear feels bigger than God:

1. Remember God’s character. We need to trust who God says He is more than what circumstances tell us.

2. Don’t listen to the lies. Fear is a liar because it comes from the enemy of our souls. When God gives instruction, a promise, or a reassurance, we can be certain He’ll fulfill His end. He always keeps his word.

3. When we give in to fear (and who hasn’t?), own our mistakes with humility. God’s our redeemer, and He can right our mistakes. He can also help us choose more wisely next time.

4. When fear looms larger than God in our eyes, step back and pray. Ask God to help our unbelief. Ask for eyes to see His perspective in the situation.

After about a month of sleeplessness, God challenged me with a choice. He basically laid things out for me . . . I could continue to worry about my husband, or I could trust Him to do what was best for Hubs and me.


God’s so much bigger than we are. The first night I chose to trust Him over the uncertainties, I slept peacefully.

So I ask you, who are you trusting?

What about you? How have you worked through fear that feels so real? When has God revealed Himself to you in a way that gave you peace?

And because this song keeps coming to mind, I’m sharing it: “Fear Is a Liar,” by Zach Williams

Click to Tweet: Fear is a liar because it comes from the enemy of our souls.

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup and #TellHisStory

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21 thoughts on “Fear (Series): When We Don’t Trust”

  1. Beautiful post, Jeanne, and I love the pictures. You are so talented!

    Trust is like your first abseil. That rope looks awfully frail, and it’s a long way to the rocks below…

    Sometimes I wondered how I’d feel
    when Death turned up at last,
    would God be open to appeal
    if I talked really fast?
    Or would the terror strike me still,
    a statue all dread-white
    staring and unmoving till
    God turned out the light?
    Or might I laugh in the face
    of unknown eternity
    and hope that God might misplace
    His plans to come for me?
    Turns out there’s not much to say;
    not scared, I just live every day.

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    1. Andrew, I love the picture of trust being an abseil, a fragile looking rope. Thankfully, God honors and strengthens our trust, doesn’t He?

      Your poem is beautiful. Living everyday with intention in the place where we are is so important. AndI would add, remembering that God walks with us through the dark times, the dying seasons.

      Thank you for sharing your quiet confidence and determination, my friend. You continue to be in my prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jeanne,

    So glad I’m your neighbor today over at Purposeful Faith. This was a great read. I also blogged about fear a few months ago. It’s one of the biggest pieces of artillery the enemy uses against us. And I would have reacted the same way if my husband was gone that long. Your point to remember God’s character resonated with me the most. He will never act contrary to HIs Word or His love or His faithfulness. That alone brings me so much comfort during the times fear wants to grip my life.

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    1. Karen, I’m glad we’re neighbors today too. 🙂 Fear is such a wide topic, isn’t it? It impacts our lives in many different days. And yes, it is one of the biggest pieces of artillery of the enemy. I’m thankful God is consistent in His character and His faithfulness. This helps us lay a foundation for faith and keeping a mindset that focuses on God, doesn’t it?

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  3. I’m a slow learner, I guess, and therefore, I have to keep coming back to the truth that God is trustworthy and His motives toward me are all for good. It’s hard to remember that when it looks as if the wheels have come off everything!
    Thanks for sharing your learning process here!

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    1. Michele, I had to grin. You do not strike me as a slow learner. 🙂 I have found learning to walk in consistent trust of the Lord is always a point of growing for me. And yes, when the wheels come off and the cart begins to drag in the mud, I have to remember God is faithful and He’s not taken by surprise by the incidents that come into our lives. I am always thankful for your visits here, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes,I too love it when you read a familiar story or passage – and learn from it as if it was the first time! God’s word is wonderful – and exciting – like that! Thanks for sharing what you learned…always something to apply to each of us. And your photos make the lesson that much more memorable!! Have a wonderful, Jeanne!

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  5. It is so easy to give in to fear and to allow our focus to go to the things that worry us or intimidate us rather than fixing it on God’s faithfulness. Saul’s story is a powerful reminder of the dangers of that and I love the lessons you draw out. I like the song too!

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    1. Lesley, it is easy to give in to fear and allow it to intimidate us. I often need the reminder that God is faithful and his character is unchanging. I have been challenged by Saul’s example and reminded of what not to do. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What I love about your story is how God grew you through it! God uses our experiences to grow us and to learn to trust Him, doesn’t He? I’m a doer, so tend not to wait for answers and may have done what Saul did—just take matters in my own hands. I still have a lot to learn to let go and trust!

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    1. Yes, God did grow me through that time. I’m beyond thankful for His patience with me. I’m a do-er too, Lynn. And I’m learning how to become more of a wait-er. The letting go and trusting is a continual learning process for me.

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  7. I remember the times when my hubby was a trucker and wouldn’t be home at night. How I’d check all the locks again… Also that fear that something will happen to him. I have feared a lot in my life about many things. Though I’m still a work in progress, God is helping me to trust more. I’m thankful He is so patient with me. What helps me the most with fear is to remember God’s unchanging character. I love your reflections, the verses, your breath-taking photos, and the song! Thank you for your encouragement! Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Trudy, I didn’t know we had in common husbands who travel(ed). I’m agreeing with you that God is patient and faithful to help us work through fears and come into a place of trusting Him. I also love that God’s character is unchanging. This is what gives me the courage to trust Him when fear tries to tell me not to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My husband used to drive over the road and would be gone all week long, but gratefully, he was home on the weekends. 🙂 Three years ago he retired from it. Now he is a parts runner and is home every night. 🙂 I so often feel for you when you mention something. I often felt “safer” when he was around, and he was the first person I’d call or talk to when I struggled or some difficult situation came up. But now I am learning (still always a work in progress) I kind of made an idol out of him at times, and I want my immediate reaction to be to take it to Jesus first. Love and blessings of courage to you, dear Jeanne!

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  8. This series is so good. Fear is one of those things that consumes. It sneaks up when you think everything is under control and it wants to stay around when all you want to do is kick it to the curb.

    I wish fear would not get the best of me. It has in the past and I know it will again. But what I know better now is that God has already won and HIs truth is greater than anything that wants to take us down. Thank you for your honesty. I am nodding “me to” over here and am glad I am not alone in this journey.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Mary. Fear does consume. There have been too many times when I’ve allowed fear to get the upper hand in my heart and thoughts. It never leads anywhere good. I love your reminder that God has already won and that His truth is greater than anything that tries to take us down. Thank you for your wise words, my friend!

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  9. One fear after another, all through my life. Being an extrovert people seem to think I don’t fear much. When they hear of our life in two foreign countries they are convince I don’t battle with fear. But living a round trip plane ticket life is the scariest. But through those years I have learned some valuable lesson about fear. Now I am writing a book and wouldn’t you know it fear met me again. In fact it took me 10 years to face the fear and not I am not thinking about writing a book, I am writing a book. Everytime I sit down to write fear meets me but I think it will finally leave, when I am through. This is the one thing I have put off the longest, I am 72 so please pray for me. Great post.

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    1. Please forgive my delayed response, Betty. It is interesting how people perceive introverts and extroverts, isn’t it? We’re all human, though. And we all face uncertainties and trials. Good for you on writing a book. Fear has a way of trying to discourage us from doing what God’s called us to. Press into Jesus and write with Him. Before I work on my book, I begin that time with prayer. This has helped me to hear God better, and to remember I’m fulfilling the calling He’s given me. I’m saying a prayer for you as you write!

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