Fear can be a debilitating emotion. The reasons we experience fear are countless and usually stem from events or circumstances in life that caused us emotional or physical pain. Occasionally a person will develop fear based on a belief that they will be caused emotional or physical pain in the future.
Job 3:25 (Amplified Bible)
For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me.
Whether based on actual or perceived events, fear can be debilitating at the worst and inconvenient at the least. Fear can infiltrate and influence every area of our lives and keep us from achieving our greatest potential in our relationships, career choices, and spiritual lives. Mild to extreme fear can often lead to controlling or passive behaviors, anxiety, depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias.
Psalm 55:5 (Amplified Bible)
Fear and trembling have come upon me; horror and fright have overwhelmed me.
Coping with fear on a daily basis is stressful and exhausting and for the Bible-believing Christian, fear can affect our relationship with God as much as it affects every other area of our lives.
Psalm 13 (Amplified Bible)
1 How long will You forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long must I lay up cares within me and have sorrow in my heart day after day? How long shall my enemy exalt himself over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; lighten the eyes [of my faith to behold Your face in the pitch like darkness], lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 Lest my enemy say, I have prevailed over him, and those that trouble me rejoice when I am shaken.
Fear keeps us from building healthy and meaningful relationships and from stepping out of our comfort zones to accomplish the desires and plans God has placed in our hearts. Fear keeps us focused on the things, people, and situations that may hurt us rather than those that will help us grow, learn, and achieve our greatest potential.
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.
Because of the effect fear has on us, it is the greatest weapon the enemy, Satan, uses against us. God knew Satan would come against us, He knew we would be tempted to fear, and He wanted us to know we were not helpless against the enemy.
I Peter 5:6-9 (Amplified Bible)
6 Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, 7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 9 Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset-rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (Amplified Bible)
10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. 14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. 16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. 18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
I’ve heard it said that the Bible has 365 verses telling us not to fear. I don’t know about that. I haven’t found a list and I haven’t taken the time to count them. I do know that God encourages us, in many different ways, many times throughout the Bible to not allow fear to weaken our faith.
Matthew 6:25 (Amplified Bible)
Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
2 Timothy 2:7 (Amplified Bible)
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
Philippians 4:6-7 (Amplified Bible)
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 2:14-16 (Good News Translation)
14 Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, 15 and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.
Understanding and battling fear is a life-long journey that begins when we realize we do have a choice. The process can be long and is better fought one day at a time with the power of the Word of God as our weapon.
Matthew 6:34 (Amplified Bible)
34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
Hebrews 4:12 (Amplified Bible)
12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Other steps that can help you battle fear are:
- Start a Journal of Thanksgiving. Write down at least three things you are grateful for each day.
Colossians 3:15 (Amplified Bible)
15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Amplified Bible)
18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].
- Share your experiences and concerns with a trusted friend, counselor, or pastor.
Proverbs 12:25 (Amplified Bible)
25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.
- Spend time in prayer each day.
Matthew 11:28-30 (Amplified Bible)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and] recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good-not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
- Listen to positive, uplifting, music throughout your day.
Colossians 3:16 (Good News Translation)
16 Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts.
- Find a Celebrate Recovery ministry near you.
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