BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#974 - "I Will Fear No More" by The Afters
NRT's Kevin Davis talks with lead singer Josh Havens about this anthem against anxiety.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #974 -
Posted: June 04, 2019 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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I've long enjoyed the hook-filled and emotive songs by The Afters, starting with their 2005 debut "Beautiful Love" and continuing with "Ocean Wide," "Light Up the Sky," "Every Good Thing," "Broken Hallelujah" and "Battles" from their first five albums. 
 
Fear No More is their sixth album. It was preceded by the hit song, "Well Done," that proclaims, "What will it be like/When I come into Your glory/Standing in the presence of a Love so beautiful." In the vein of their 2016 album, "Live on Forever," these songs help remind us that we weren't made for this world. As followers of Jesus who have put all of their hope in Him, we know that eternity in heaven awaits us when we leave this fallen world and remember, "I will fear no more."

We all deal with fear, worry and anxiety. God knows that about us. I've read that God tells us 365 times in His Word to "do not fear" or "do not worry." This is a daily reminder to not spend time getting caught up in ourselves. But allowing ourselves to be satisfied with a fresh filling of God and His Holy Spirit. I have been attentive to that concept in my daily bible study. I had the chance to speak with lead singer Josh Havens about, "I Will Fear No More."


Please tell me the personal story behind the song.

Many of our songs come out of real life and conversations that we have just hanging out as friends. [Band members] Dan [Ostebo], Jordan [Mohilowski] and Matt [Fuqua] are my closest friends in the world. We talk through life and live a lot of life together. I remember there was this one night in the studio where we were just gathered around talking about life and "I Will Fear No More" started coming together.

Jordan shared that he was dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. We were just talking about some of our struggles and anxiety is something that I've struggled with for a lot of my life. It was the first time I had shared that with anybody. He was comforted to learn that someone he was close to could relate to him. He started calling me when his anxiety was building. I tend to avoid sharing pain sometimes. I realized that in sharing something I was holding inside, it opened up a healing conversation. It felt really good to get it out there and encourage each other. I remember us saying, "Hey, let's write a song that's an anthem against anxiety." We wanted to write words that we could sing over our lives.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Exodus 14:13-14 (NLV): "But Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Be strong, and see how the Lord will save you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you. All you have to do is keep still."
 
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV): "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."

2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV): He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.'"
 
1 John 4:18-19 (NKJV): "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV): "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

2 Corinthians 10:2-5 (NIV): "I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world; we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Romans 8:11 (VOICE): "If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you."

What is the takeaway message?

The more we talked about it, the more we realized that this is an epidemic. Many people deal with anxiety, worry, stress and depression. Everyone rich, poor, young, old, and of different races are dealing with this. We've learned that kids are committing suicide in our local high schools. 

We knew we needed a song that's raw and real. A song about what we are feeling. A song that points us to the hope that we have in Christ. In the Bible, there are 365 passages that tell us to "fear not." 

For my own life, I realized that anxiety has been a robber of joy. I wasn't being as present as I should have been and not living my life to the fullest. I was distracted by a debilitating anxiety.

For this album, we wanted to write a song that would be words that we could sing over our struggles. "I Will Fear No More" is an anthem against anxiety. It declares, ‘I will not give in to fear.' It proclaims our trust in God. 

"I Will Fear No More" is something that you could proclaim over your own life. Say to yourself, "I will not give in to fear and anxiety. We will not let the enemy take away our joy."
 
Lyrics:
Every anxious thought that steals my breath
It's a heavy weight upon my chest
As I lie awake and wonder
What the future will hold
Help me to remember
That You're in control
 
You're my courage when I worry
In the dead of night
You're my strength 'cause I'm not strong enough
To win this fight
You are Greater than the battle
Raging in my mind
I will trust You, Lord
I will fear no more
 
I will lift my eyes
I will lift my cares
Lay them in Your hands
I'll leave them there
When the wind and waves are coming
You shelter me
Even though I'm in the storm
The storm is not in me
 
You're my courage when I worry
In the dead of night
You're my strength 'cause I'm not strong enough
To win this fight
You are Greater than the battle
Raging in my mind
I will trust You, Lord
I will fear no more
I will fear no more
I will fear no more
 
No power can come against me
'Cause You have overcome
No darkness can overwhelm me
'Cause You've already won
No power can come against me
'Cause You have overcome
No darkness can overwhelm me
'Cause You've already won
 
You're my courage when I worry
In the dead of night
You're my strength 'cause I'm not strong enough
To win this fight
You are Greater than the battle
Raging in my mind
I will trust You, Lord
I will fear no more
 
I will fear no more
I will fear no more
I will fear no more
I will fear no more


Closing Thoughts

The first time I heard "I Will Fear No More" I loved its chorus and catchy theme. The overall album, Fear No More, is filled with overwhelming biblical truth. After repeated listens, the songs get deeper with comforting biblical messages that God is love. And we love because He first loved us. You can have joy and worship loudly about the love of God in your life. His grace takes away anxiety, guilt and shame. Know that being His is enough. 

I hear in Josh's vocals a sincere yearning for the Lord, and thankfulness in his heart for God's mercy and grace. I'm completely convicted by the strong lyrics and find immense comfort in this song.
 
We're aware of many situations involving people taking their own lives after dealing with depression. The band's hope is to pass on the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to "cast the light of life into your mortal bodies." If you're struggling with depression, please know with certainty these life-giving words. 

The theme of "I Will Fear No More" should be the heartbeat of every faithful Christian. This song's message is found throughout scripture and is totally relatable: "You are Greater than the battle raging in my mind/I will trust You, Lord/I will fear no more." This song represents the victory that we have over our battles before we even know the earthly outcome by trusting that God is going before us and He wins. 

We can face our daily battles with more courage and strength because we know that whatever the outcome, based on His promise in Romans 8:28, "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

"I Will Fear No More" is a daily prayer asking God to come and change our hearts and change our lives in such a way that our behavior and the way we live flows from God living inside of us as believers. 

I have adopted this anthem as my daily prayer: "No power can come against me/'Cause You have overcome/No darkness can overwhelm me/'Cause You've already won." Only Jesus can give us our true identity. What a powerful expression of what it means to accept that God never leaves or forsakes us. He is all we need. Join in with the band and sing along in faith, "When the wind and waves are coming/You shelter me/Even though I'm in the storm/The storm is not in me." Amen to that.

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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