Choose Not to Fear
One More Year of Choices
By Barbara Dahlgren
Fear can be a good thing when kept in perspective. For example, fearing God in the right way can bring benefits. God doesn’t want us to unnecessarily tremble in His sight but He does want us to respect His power, acknowledge His holiness, worship His majesty, and reverence Him in our lives. This is not a bad thing. As we continue in a relationship with the living God, we realize He is a God of love and only wants the best for us.
Also there is a healthy kind of fear that comes with wisdom or heeding caution. It keeps us from jumping off the side of a building thinking we can fly, picking up a rattlesnake thinking we won’t get bitten, or driving 150 miles per hour thinking we won’t have an accident.
However, some fears paralyze us, keep us from doing what we should or could do, and prevent us from living a fuller, richer life, which is what God wants for us. Therefore, we must learn to control those fears or else they control us.
We are a fear-ridden society. Extreme fears result in countless phobias (and I do mean countless – just check out www.phobialist.com). Most of us don’t have to deal with those, but we do wrestle with fear of rejection, hurt, humiliation, abandonment, disappointment, commitment, criticism, loss, the future, and so on. The residual effects of these fears are enough to hold us captive and prevent us from leading the life God intended.
Fear of rejection keeps us from meeting new people. Fear of failure keeps us from accepting responsibility. Fear of looking foolish keeps us from asking questions or trying new things. Fear of the future makes us afraid to enjoy the present. Fear of losing keeps us from playing the game. The list is endless.
God anticipated we would have trouble grappling with these feelings, so He filled the Bible with admonitions to “fear not!” A spirit of fear does not come from God. (2 Timothy 1:7) So as we draw closer to God, He calms our fears. When we seek God, He delivers us from our fears. (Psalm 34:4) We are not relying on our strength but God’s. When God is with us, He helps and upholds us. (Isaiah 41:10)
When we truly realize God is our refuge and strength, we know we have nothing to fear. (Psalm 46:1-2) Why be afraid of people when God is our salvation and strength? (Psalm 27:1)
Consider this…God told Joshua not to be afraid or even discouraged because God would be with him wherever he went. (Joshua 1:9) God is also with us wherever we go. We are not alone. God says, “Fear not, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 41:10) The God of love is with us. God loves us and there is no fear in love. (1 John 4:18-19)
If we make God a priority in our lives, we have nothing to fear. When we seek God, He delivers us from our fears. (Psalm 34:4)
Suggestions for practicing this choice…
Get a handle on your fears. Just thinking about them all the time can be instrumental in having them happen. We must control our unhealthy fears, not let them control us.
Remember… a spirit of fear does not come from God. (2 Timothy 1:7)
David said that even if he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, he would fear no evil because God was with him. (Psalm 23:4-6) When you feel fear coming on, repeat, “God is with me. God is with me. You are with me! You are with me!”
Seeking God is a key to overcoming fear. However, this seeking of God is not just so He will deliver us from our trials or fears. We seek God so we can place our trust and faith in Him. It’s this faith and trust in God that calms our anxious hearts.
Picture God as a loving father (which He is) who is holding your hand as you walk through life together, and continually whispers, “Fear not! I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)