by Brandy Webb
Fear: a state of overwhelming anxiety that zaps all signs of hope and faith away, making one to feel panicked. That’s my definition. It is a mind-tingling sensation that destroys all my rational thought, and heightens my emotional state.
With the world in a crazy state of existence, it is very easy to give in to the temptation of fear. I think of fear as a temptation because it is something that can take our faith away. Anything, to me, that can come between the Father and us is definitely a temptation. Therefore, we are to “watch and pray that [we] may not enter into temptation” (Matt 26:41). So, pray daily that you don’t become overwhelmed by fear.
I keep thinking about the fact that the Bible states there is “nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1:9). So, regardless of what I am going through, someone at some time has gone through similar circumstances. Now, that doesn’t mean that the world isn’t as scary as we think because Satan is the ruler of this world, therefore, it is a scary place. It just means that others have lived and survived this scary world, and with that, we have hope that we can also.
It is easy to give in to fear. I think that is why, according to Google, the KJV states “Fear not” or “Be not afraid” 103 times. Obviously, God knows that it is hard for us to not fear. We are human; the fear/flight instinct is engrained into our being for survival. Therefore, when life and trials become beyond our own control to fix, we usually succumb to fear because we tend to fear the unknown. The unknown of how this is going to work out, what I am to do now, where I am to go from here, if the world is coming to an end, etc. … are uncertainties that bring on fear.
So, what is one to do to fight back the temptation? First, don’t beat yourself up when you feel fear. It is a normal human response. Beating yourself up about it just makes everything worse, and from my experience, it seems to fuel the fear. Self-condemnation makes me become even more afraid because then I feel like I am failing God. It isn’t easy to stop, but nothing is impossible with God, and when we are weak He is strong (Luke 1:37 and 1 Cor 12:9-10). Therefore, accept the fact that you are afraid, and then immediately “cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psa 55:22).
Second, read the Scriptures a lot. Remember, David, a man after God’s own heart, also had moments of fear, and he also had the solution to stop it: “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psa 56:3-4). We must put our trust in God to fight fear.
The Scriptures are truth; therefore, we must believe what they say. God tells us in Isaiah 41: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand…. For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (verses 10, 13).
Powerful words, there. Do not fear—don’t worry—because He will help you. I must practice what I am preaching here. It seems to be easier to succumb to the fear than to run into the arms of the Almighty, but I know that is what He wants me to do. He wants me to turn to Him and trust Him with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind.
This brings me to the third thing that I feel we should do when we are fearful: stand firm holding onto the promises of God. We must remember that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). The Messiah promises that He is also always with us “to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20). I have to remember and believe that I am never ever alone; therefore, even though “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for [Jesus] is with me; [His] rod and [His] staff they comfort me” (Psa 23:4).
The next time life has attacked me to the point that I begin to feel that overwhelming anxiety that tries to destroy my hope and faith, I will strive hard to not fall into its snare (29:25). I will put my trust in the Lord so that I can be safe, because he has not given me a “spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).