Besides snakes, rats (big Chicago rats), spiders, skunks, getting stranded in the ocean without a life raft, my plane crashing, something terrible happening to my wife and kids, and country bluegrass being heaven’s music for all eternity, (People, I am all messed up), I think I am most afraid of dying without accomplishing God’s purpose for my life. What is your greatest fear (s), and what do you do when it comes creeping into your life? When fear comes, you attack it with a proven strategy.
What is Fear?
Fear is an attitude of anxiety or distress, caused by concern over a threat to one’s future. It comes from the awareness of vulnerability, the perceived power of another to do us harm, or a perceived weakness in ourselves.
Some of our fears are rational; they are based on legitimate dangers. Others are irrational; they aren’t based on facts at all. It’s all in our minds. Whether reasonable or unreasonable, our fears can cripple us in our relationship with God and others.
Things We Fear
Sometimes, we are afraid of natural phenomena – the dark, strong winds, fierce storms, heights, mean people, empty cupboards, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Other times, we are fearful of the unknown or the abnormal.
Also, we dread experiencing shame or embarrassment, the uncertainty of the future, fierce persecution for following Jesus, and the ultimate thing we fear is death. The truth is, whether natural or unnatural, rational or irrational, life fills us with panic over all kinds of things.
Responses to Fear
How should we respond to emotion that can easily stifle our progress? Sometimes, our responses to fear are less than godly. We hide like Adam. We lie like Abraham. We compromise our convictions like Aaron. We run like the Israelites. These are not productive responses. How, then, should we respond when we are afraid? I believe the appropriate response is F. A. I. T. H.
F – Fix your attention on Jesus and not your fears. Often we allow our senses to define life for us, instead of allowing the character and power of Jesus to determine life for us (Hebrews 12:2).
A – Ask God for strength. We have the privilege of calling on God when we are afraid. God answers by giving us strength in our souls (Psalm 138:3).
I – Invite others to walk with you when you are afraid. The fellowship of fellow believers helps to reassure us that we don’t have to walk through the valley of fear alone (2 Corinthians 7:5-6).
T – Trust God even when you can’t trace God. When we are afraid, we must live like God is telling the truth about himself (Psalm 56:3-4).
H – Help others as they walk through their fears. God delivers and protects, not so we can hoard his goodness and protection, but to comfort others in their time of need (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Fear is a normal emotion. Faith should be just as reasonable a response. Faith and fear cannot coexist in the same space. When we are faith-full, we will fear-less. The next time your fears put you on the run, introduce your fears to the Father.
Turn Your Minutes into Moments
What are your three greatest fears?
How does your belief in God need to change for you to face your fears with FAITH?
Who can you comfort as they walk through the valley of fear?