Fear comes in two forms. Constructive fear makes us anxious when we drive on an icy road or makes us fret about an upcoming exam. Constructive fear can motivate us to avoid danger, fulfill our obligations and obey the law. The Bible tells us to fear God. This is a respectful fear that recognizes God’s soverignty. This helps us to live a righteous life and avoid the pitfalls of sin. On the other hand, destructive fear can be paralyzing and debilitating. It can hold us captive and steal our joy. Satan’s plan is to steal, kill and destroy. He holds us hostage by capitalizing on our fears. Psychiatrist Joseph Wolpe spent much of his life trying to understand phobias—illogical and unexplainable fears. His research led him to conclude that fear often stems from a single frightening event or experience that over time becomes greatly exaggerated and incapacitating. Time and avoidance can make the fear monumental. With God’s help fear can be defeated, but it will require partnering with God.
Josh 1:9; Ps 15:2, 34:4, 56:3-4; Ec 3:11; Jer 29:11; Da 5:6; Mt 10:28; Jn 8:31-32, 44, 10:10; 2 Co 10:5; 2 Ti 1:7
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ec 3:11) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Ti 1:7)
The Bible says that God will take away our fears. God’s Word is true, but don’t oversimplify and assume that God will simply wave a holy wand and all your fear will disappear. He can do that; He might do that, but it is far more likely that, as the Bible teaches, it will be a joint venture. God has a role and you have a role. God will absolutely come through with his part and be with you every step of the way, but you must to do your part which begins with exposing the origin of the fear. This may require the help of a counselor, support group, sharing with friends, journaling, or whatever works for you. Once you uncover the source of your fear, you must take control of the fear. Paul tells us in 2 Co 10:5 that we must get rid of imaginations and take captive those thoughts that are fueling our fears. Fear will manufacture worst-case scenarios. You know how it is when your mind starts spinning out illogical outcomes that create panic in your mind and heart. These are lies that must be exposed. When fear kicks in, face it and speak the truth to yourself. Dispel the lies. God’s word is truth; use it to fight the fear. God will deliver you; He won’t fail or abandon you. Grab onto God’s hand; you are not alone!
Have you ever had a paralyzing fear? How did it affect your life (relationships, work, sleep, etc.)? What do you do when fear attempts to overwhelm you? How do you overcome fear? How have you seen fear overtake someone you know or love? What fear do you need to conquer today? How can you help someone who is battling fear? Give an example of an imagination and explain how to cast it down (2 Co 10:5). How damaging are imaginations? Give an example from your own experience.
Identify any fear that is affecting your life. Discover the source of your fear. Talk with someone about your fear and ask for rational feedback. Find Scriptures that will help you battle your fear.
Dear Father in Heaven, I want to walk in your presence. You are the God of Heaven’s armies and I know that there is no fear that is greater than your power. You are my Lord and my Defender. Help me to draw strength from your word and to allow Scripture to fill my heart and mind and wash away fear when it comes my way. Thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit working in my life. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.