You know the old saying, never discuss religion or politics. Why not? Because generally speaking, people have strong feelings about those subjects and discussions frequently turn into arguments that have bee known to tear apart family and friends.
So, what does this have to do with faith?
I think that often our emotions give us a big clue as to whether or not we really believe, or have faith in, what we profess (or confess).
When you say you are healed by the stripes of Jesus, how do you feel? And no, I'm not asking whether or not you feel well, or healed. Do you feel happy and thankful? Do you feel worried? Or maybe you don't really feel anything at all.
I think that many times we can use our feelings as a measure of our faith.
So, what does this have to do with fear?
Faith and fear are really the same thing. Faith is the positive end of the spectrum and fear is the negative end of the spectrum. Both are beliefs, and both are accompanied (usually) by a strong feeling or emotion.
No matter how much you profess to have faith in a good outcome, if you are worried or fearful, then I would say you are only trying to deceive yourself. You aren't standing in faith.
One of the best scriptural examples I know of on the power of fear, is the story of Job. Now, I know that some people believe (and some ministers teach) that God was behind the destruction that Job experienced. In fact, at the beginning of the story, Job himself seems to be blaming God. But, by the end of the book of Job, we hear him singing a different tune.
Job basically admits that he didn't know what he was talking about, and apologizes to God.
One of the most important verses in the book of Job, in my humble opinion, is this one:
"For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of has come unto me."
In other words, Job admits that his problems were brought on by his fear.
Fear is a magnet, just as surely as faith is a magnet. The difference is, you don't want the things you fear to become your reality. Remember, God did not give us the spirit of fear. If you are afraid or worried about something, cast it down, and take authority over that evil thought. (Any thought that is contrary to what God says about you is evil!) Replace fearful thoughts with thoughts of faith and scriptures of promise.