We all encounter difficult times in our lives, times when we may feel like life is falling apart. But even in these dark and uncertain moments, God offers a way out of despair and fear through a growing trust in him. As you engage these four principles, may you find fresh assurance in God's constant love, care, and power to transform your circumstances, as you become more confident in him.

1) Recognize the Source of Fear

2) Deliberately Refocus on the Promises of God

3) Practice Prayer and the Presence of God

4) Actively Seek Community

1. Recognize the Source of Fear

When life seems to be falling apart, we can easily start to fear the worst or feel overwhelmed by the circumstances. The key to defeating these fears, however, is to understand that they don't arise from our external challenges alone. Instead, the Bible identifies our "natural" human inclination to fear God less and fear the unknown and hardships more as our predicament (Proverbs 1:28, Psalm 112:7). The battle for confidence in God doesn't begin with "out there" but "in here."

Step one is thus to acknowledge the spiritual roots of our fears: They are not a result of the situation only, but an internal struggle against the dominion of God and the truth He speaks over our lives. As we recognize the true source of our fear, we are better positioned to find the remedy.

2. Deliberately Refocus on the Promises of God

The enemy of our faith tries to hijack our thoughts, often with negative projections about the future and the present reality. In these moments, we must deliberately refocus on the promises of God.

These promises, found throughout Scripture, are prophetic declarations of God's will and plans for our lives. By meditating on them, we can "re-wire" our perceptions of reality and "reclaim" the truth of what God says about his children. In times of trouble, Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah 29:11, or Psalm 46, just to name a few, can become touchstones of faith and confidence.

Don't wait for feelings to change to read these promises. Actively seek the life-giving words of God as a form of 'spiritual insulin.'

3. Practice Prayer and the Presence of God

In the New Testament, Jesus urges his disciples to "abide" or "rest" in Him just as a vine needs to rest in its gardener's care (John 15:5). That abiding or resting means to consciously "tune in" to the presence and power of the Spirit at work in our lives. In times of crisis, we must carve out space and moments for quiet, expectant attention to the work of God and His Word in our hearts. This can take the form of regular prayer times, bible meditation, or worship with music.

As we cultivate a deeper life with God, fear and anxiety begin to lose their grip.

4. Actively Seek Community

As God's people, we are never meant to go it alone. The Book of Hebrews reminds us that "we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" (12:1)—not just long-deceased "heroes of the faith," but also the living body of Christ, His Church.

Actively seek out brothers and sisters who can journey with you, support you in prayer, and lend you the strength of shared faith as you face the trials of life (Genesis 40:1-5, Acts 18:26). Being transparent about our struggles and relying on the wisdom, encouragement, and love of others are crucial steps to overcoming fear and gaining confidence in God, even in the hardest of times.

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Dr. Marcus Cooper-DeHarupt is an Anglican priest and academic with a doctorate from Durham University, UK. He enjoys writing on the intersection of faith, culture, and the arts. Marcus is also a freelance editor, workshop facilitator, and educator. Find him on Twitter @MarcusCDeH or at www.linkedin.com/in/Marcus-Cooper.