A Biblical Approach to Fear
Wouldn’t our Christian existence be wonderful without fear? Some even wonder why a God that loves us so much would even allow it to infiltrate our minds. God does not cause fear, but nevertheless, we are living in a fallen world, so fear exists and can work itself into our lives. However, we can resist the vise grip of fear by fixing our minds on the Lord. God has made it clear that He didn’t give us the spirit of fear, as illustrated in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV).
So where does fear come from then? Psalm 112:7 says, “He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (NKJV). Fear is the opposite of trust. Therefore, a heart that is resolutely and faithfully trusting in the Lord will not fear “evil tidings.” 1John 4:18 explains, ” There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (NKJV). Torment is associated with Satan, as we see in 2 Corinthians 12:7: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me”(NIV). Since fear involves torment, and Satan utilizes torment, what should we, as Christians, do with the fear that we experience?
Fear can be useful in the fact that it highlights areas in our lives we have not fully surrendered to God. For example, if we are fearful about our finances, and consequently don’t tithe ten percent as God’s Word has commanded, that fear is useful in pointing out that we should trust God to provide. By trusting the Lord to provide for us financially, we can put feet on our faith and begin tithing in obedience to Him.
If you are struggling with fear, simply turn to Scripture to seek what the Lord says about it. Turn your situation of fearfulness into an opportunity to trust Him more. Fearful about a relationship? Put that relationship in the hands of God. Fearful about a major career decision? Seek God’s will for your professional life, instead of your own. Fearful about providing for your family? Matthew 6:26 points out, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (NKJV). God says we are not to be fearful. Remember that we are to trust and commit every aspect of our lives to the Lord who loves us.
We are all fallen, hence we will all be fearful from time to time. So how do we extinguish fear from our lives? After recognizing fear in our lives, we must take every fearful thought captive, find the root, and see what God’s Word says about our particular fears. God can use any circumstance for His glory and for our restoration.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)