Fear is an odd thing. It is a liar and cheat, a common tool of the enemy to bog down Jesus’ People. If you’re anything like me, you know the signs of fear and anxiety: knots in your stomach, sweaty palms, trouble sleeping (and sometimes sleeping too much!).
Today, the Pastor who was teaching spoke about being fully devoted to Christ—and that we must get rid of the things in our lives that keep us from fully following and being devoted to Jesus. As I asked myself the question of what was getting in between me and fully following and being devoted to Jesus, “fear” made the top of the list.
Fear of dying.
Fear of throwing up.
Fear of social situations because of the fear of throwing up.
Fear of panic attacks, and the list could go on and on…
As I recognized these chains I’ve been shackled to, I felt helpless. I knew (and know) I have a problem with fear but have little to no idea of how to combat it. But as I went over to a friend’s house and mentioned this to her, she immediately suggested that I do a study on what the Bible says about fear.
So, here I go. It may be a longer post, but stay with me!
Here is what the Bible, the infallible Word of God, says about fear.
~ “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Sometimes, we overthink and fear that if we make the wrong decision, we are beyond fixing by Jesus. Just as Jessica Kastner says in this article, we don’t need to fear that! We have a mighty, mighty God who will use ALL things and work them for the good of those who love Him.
~ “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
(2 Timothy 1:7, NIV)
The Greek word for “power” in this verse is the same word used for when Jesus comes back “in power and glory” in His second coming. God has not given us a spirit that cowers in fear; He has given us awesome and amazing power, as the Holy Spirit lives inside of us!
~ “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV)
If fear does not come from God, where does it come from? You got it: satan. Let’s not ascribe so much power to him, though. Indeed, he prowls LIKE a roaring lion, but he is not THE lion (Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah [Revelation 5:5, John 5:22])! He will try to impart lies to our minds, but as 1 Peter 5:9 says, we can resist him, “standing firm in the faith.” Learn more about spiritual warfare in my “The Warfare” series.
~ “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV)
Psalms 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Fear is a real emotion; to be in denial about the feelings we have is unhealthy. But Jesus wants to meet us in our fear and comfort us. His perfect Love casts out our fear (1 John 4:18). Remember that you can turn to Him, no matter how you’re feeling, and run into His Loving, Sovereign Arms. Which brings us to the last point about fear…
~ “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18, NIV)
John Piper says of this verse, “Fear is what you feel when you have done something that ought to be punished. But love is never threatened with punishment. So there is no fear in love.” It inspires us to become more like Jesus and His Love; and to look in excitement at heaven, knowing we need not fear God’s punishment, which Jesus took on.
I may or may not continue this as some sort of series, but if you have read this far, I hope it has helped and encouraged you, as it has me.
Fear is a real thing, but it is an emotion that is not beyond Jesus’ ability to calm and quench. He does not want His People living in fear; we have been freed from fear, and we can always call on Christ during our darkest, most fearful moments.
Do you know Jesus?
Jesus came to die for the sins of all people, so that we would not need to fear death! Read about Jesus’ Good News here!