Hope in God fights fear of man, says Trillia Newbell at Equip
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The best way to fight fear is gaining a greater understanding and awe of God, said author Trillia Newbell at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Equip seminar for women in ministry, April 2.
“We have a savior who relates to our suffering,” said Newbell, director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. “Jesus is aware and acquainted with the grief of man. He is acquainted with my grief, he is acquainted with your grief. ... [For] the redemption of the world, he endured great pain. Pain I can only imagine. Pain and wrath on our behalf.”
More than 100 women gathered for “Equip: Practical Training for Women in Ministry” to hear Newbell discuss how to fight fears of man, the future, tragedy, and physical appearance. Newbell is the author of Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015).
Newbell shared how God allowed her to suffer through two broken engagements before marrying her husband, Thorn. She also shared experiencing the death of her father, her sister, and going through four miscarriages.
“As I’ve gotten older, my fears have transformed as well. I’ve had a series of things that have happened, and now, I have had to struggle with fear of the future and fear of tragedy,” she said. “I am speaking to you today, not as someone who has arrived, but as someone who has learned to fight. And I want to encourage you that we are in this fight together.”
Newbell reminded those in attendance that fears constantly “whisper lies to us.” As those lies are revealed, fears are exposed and Christians are able to realize where their hope is. If it is in anything other than God, they have made an idol, she said. The only hope a Christian has is in God, she said. And God has promised to be faithful. She encouraged believers that God provides in deeper ways than pursuing our hopes.
“If we want to transform our fears, we must remind ourselves every day that we have a God who is awesome, who created the world, who has given us his Word, and who has given us his Son. And we have grace upon grace because of it.”
Trillia reminded believers that the fear of the Lord transforms and drives out all other fears. She pointed to Proverbs 31 as an example of what it means to be a woman who fears the Lord.
“It’s not about what we adorn, but the Who we adore, the Who we worship, the Who we reflect. So I think when we say biblical womanhood … we [start] looking for a list of rules and … a list of character traits that maybe aren’t necessarily what God intended for us,” she said during an interview with Towers. “I think a woman who submits her life to the Lord, reads the Scriptures to gain understanding, will be a biblical woman.”
She closed by encouraging Christian women, based on Titus 2, to seek both older mentors and younger mentees, and to be available to be a mentor. When fighting fears or experiencing feared outcomes, she encouraged women to seek community.
“The Scriptures say that we should be comforting with the comfort we’ve received, carrying each other's burdens, and loving one another,” she said. “[If this is you], do not withdraw, which is the temptation when you are despairing or suffering, but to press into community. And to [remember] that the Scriptures are real, God really is good, and the clouds will break.”
Audio for Equip is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.