Everyone is afraid of something or the other. We are afraid of dogs, cats, rats, heights, depths, failure, humiliation, persecution, prison, torture, the sky falling on our heads, the ground opening up in front of us, sickness, misery, and, of course, death. Sometimes we are afraid of life too. Why are we so afraid?
Like all other emotions, fear is given to us by God. It is given to us for our protection; otherwise, we would think nothing of going up to a lion and trying to pat its head, or jump off a high cliff into a surging river. However, fear can often cripple us, preventing us from moving forward and achieving our destiny. So, how do we combat it?
One, know that God is with us. “So do not fear,” he says, “for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). It is alleged God has said this 365 times in Scripture, one for each day of the year, but although that is not true, he says it often enough to give us the confidence that he is truly with us.
Two, trust in God. Hunted by King Saul, who was out to kill him, David was afraid. But he didn’t give in to fear; instead, he gave in to trust. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you,” he said (Psalms 56:3).
Three, pray. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me;” David wrote. “He delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 34:4). When we are afraid, let us bend our knees and pray, trusting that God will deliver us from our fears too.
Four, believe in God’s love, especially when it comes to a fear of hell and eternal damnation. John wrote: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). A child is never afraid in a loving family because she knows her parents’ love keeps her safe. How much more will this be true when it comes to God.
Five, let us always remember that as people who are born again, we have the Holy Spirit with us. And as Paul wrote to the Romans: The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).
So, don’t be afraid, dear friend, but walk in the confidence of knowing that you are no ordinary mortal. You are a child of God, who loves you and is with you always!