Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. The feeling of fear actually causes a change in brain and organ function. Fear is normal and healthy when in the appropriate situation. Fear gives our bodies a “flight or fight response” allowing us to survive at times. However, most fear is not healthy. Fear can control our thoughts and our behaviors.
The bible addresses Fear 365 times! Why so many times? Possibly because we have 365 days in a year and Satan will attempt to use fear to control us every one of those days.
When we fear, we have a perceived loss of control (Fearless, James Dobson). Feeling a loss of control in a situation that you already fear, will just breed more fear; and the cycle continues. I think that most fear begins as a legitimate concern. But eventually, if left alone, it will invade your total being. It can leave you hopeless and defeated.
FEAR WILL LIE TO YOU
Fear makes us doubt God. Fear clouds our vision and thoughts. It’s unwilling to share space in our mind and will distort our thinking. We can become so focused on the fear that reality is far away. Fear has a way of making us dwell on the situation or problem. It can become so great, that we forget to really live. I have experienced fear so great, that looking back I am astonished at the things I did. I did things that I would never do in a rational situation. But my situation did not feel rational. It was real and scary. I woke up in fear, went to bed in fear and slept in fear. When we are faced with circumstances that are out of our control and we are concerned for loved ones, fear can completely consume us. I have been there when “life” revolved around my fear. When we continually focus on the fear, we take God out of the equation and we limit what he can do. It is not easy when you are in the middle of that dark time. I am certainly not insinuating that the fear is not real or that it is easy to overcome. It’s very hard. That is why the enemy uses it so well! He will use it to wreak havoc on your life. He will use it to separate you from God. He will lie to you and tell you that things will never be better. But God tells us that he is with us and will hold our hand.
I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand and I tell you, “Don’t be afraid, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:10
Fear makes us doubt ourselves. Fear inhibits us to dream of the future and achieve our best. It tells us that “we can’t”. Fear makes us think that we will fail and that we are not good enough. How many times have you wanted to pursue a career or hobby, but did not because of the fear of failure? How many times did you have the urge to share Jesus, but was afraid of saying the wrong thing or had the fear that someone would laugh at you. We are all afraid of failure and rejection. Rejection hurts, and fear feeds on this fear of rejection. This contradicts God’s word. His word tells us that we “can”! Eph. 2:10 We are God’s masterpiece. He created us to do the good things that he planned long ago. God created us as His masterpiece to do great things. The enemy will use fear to keep you from finding your purpose in life, he will stop you from fulfilling your God ordained destiny. He knows your weak spots and this is where he will bring fear to you.
Fear will always come, but don’t allow it to stay. It comes without mercy and often without warning. Sometimes it is rational and sometimes it is irrational. Regardless, the emotion is real. We all have a distinct nature to fear. We do not have to teach little babies to fear strange people, they automatically cry when a stranger picks them up. Each person has their own set of fears. Their own unique story of their “valley of the shadow of death.” It is during these valleys that we will choose to fear and walk alone, or to “fear no evil” and believe that God is with us. Psalm 23:4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley. I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
You are not weak because you have fears. Even Jesus feared. Mark 14: 35-36 He cried out to God to please take this cup of suffering away. Some versions say he was anguished and dismayed. He was fully God, but he was also fully man. Imagine the fear of knowing that you would be beaten beyond recognition, that you would be nailed to a cross and left there until you died of suffocation. That is real, valid fear. But Jesus did not invite the fear to have a home in him. Instead, he prayed, not once, but continually. He asks his disciples to pray with him. He prayed for God’s will, not his. If we sincerely pray for God’s will, how can we fear. Our Father wants what is best for us. After Jesus prayed, he moved forward. He gave himself for you and for me. We do not know if he still felt afraid, but we do know that he trusted his Father enough to continue on the path that was set for him. Our fears may not completely leave, but don’t allow them to consume you. Trust that God will be with you.
Psalm 56:3 When I’m afraid, I will trust in you.