We hear a lot about fear these days. I’ve heard it said that there are 365 verses in the Bible about fear; one for each day of the year. Why would God speak to us so often about fear? Probably because fear is in our human nature. I think it is also because fear makes us easy to manipulate. If you think about it, nearly everything we see and hear today speaks to our fears. And it doesn’t matter who is saying it or what they are selling. They use fear in some aspect. Beauty creams—be afraid of looking your age! Politics—be afraid of the left or the right! COVID-19–be afraid of leaving your house or of staying home too long! I’ve certainly fallen for the cleverly wrapped sales pitch many times over the years without recognizing that it was preying upon my fears.
How do we cut through all the hype so we can see the truth of a matter and act wisely? These verses give us the answers.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.” God will never leave us alone. He will be right there in the fray with us. He will give us strength, help, and ultimate victory. There is no need to fear because the creator of the universe has our back, and He leads from the front.
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.”Psalm 56:3 (NLT)
But we are human and who can simply “not be afraid” in certain situations? Not me. So when I am afraid, I will put my trust in God. I will admit my fear and ask God to help me see clearly. I will seek His face so that I know if the fear I feel is valid (Watch out for rattlesnakes when hiking.) or being used to manipulate my actions (What if I fail?).
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
And finally, I will remember that fear does not come from God. God’s spirit is one of power and love and a sound mind. Power to overcome fear, to throw down strongholds, and to set the captives free. Love for God, God’s people, and God’s creation. A sound mind to think clearly in the midst of chaos, to discern God’s will in the middle of confusion, and to recognize His truth through all the distractions.
Now that I know these things, I just have to remember to put them into practice. When I feel the tug of fear, I will train myself to first look to God for guidance. Then I will be strong enough to face that fear with both courage and wisdom. Unless it’s a rattlesnake, then I’ll be heading the other direction!
May God spark courage, clarity, and calm as He gives you victory over fear.