Many years ago a friend said to me, "You have a lot of fears. You should take care of that!"
At the time I knew he was right but I had no idea how to not be afraid.
What about you? Would you consider yourself to be a fearful person? Do you know how to not be afraid? Sometimes we think it is weak, wrong or sinful to be afraid and so we want to change...but we don't know how.
As a teenager, I was afraid I was a loser because I was so shy. All through high school and college, I was afraid I'd never get married. After I got married and we started our family I was afraid my baby might stop breathing in the night. I was afraid that I wasn't good enough. And let's not even talk about when our kids were playing basketball or running track or performing in violin recitals! But being afraid felt natural because I embraced it so often. The pit in my stomach stood in testimony against me.
As I have grown in my faith, I have found myself seeking ways to better trust God. If Christ is who he says he is, then I must trust that in whatever happens he will provide what I need to get through it. I've heard many people say that it was during the hardest times in their lives that they felt closest to Christ. Their faith was strong and they sensed his care and his love.
If he has something more for me, I truly don't want to miss it. Really.
In the book, Unafraid, the author, Susie Davis, recalls the moment fear entered her life. One day a classmate came into her sixth grade classroom and shot their teacher in front of everyone. She tells how that one event changed her and how fear came in and took control. Her journey toward being unafraid and trusting God has been long and difficult. But today she knows what to do when it comes knocking on her door.
She has some enlightening things to say about FEAR:
"Fear infects your life in weird ways when you believe in it, always think on it, worship it. You become a fear-er. Only I didn't think I was a fear-er. I thought I was c-a-r-e-f-u-l. I thought I was being a good mom. A caring wife. But really, I was afraid. I couldn't see how fear changed me - and how the Enemy took advantage of me."
"Fear makes you blind...and deaf and dumb" to what God is doing in your life.
"I must daily walk away from fear. And the only way I can hope to do that is to think of fear the same way my Father thinks of fear. As an idol in my life. Fear is an idol that robs me of believing God can manage my life without my help."
The Bible has much to say about fear as well:
In Mark 6:50 we find that after letting his disciples get in their boat and experience difficulty due to a strong wind, Jesus walked near them on the water and nearly scared them to death! He quickly spoke to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
In Genesis 15:1 the LORD came to Abram in a vision and said," Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."
We can read in John 14:27 where Jesus assured his disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Obviously God wants us to know that he is with us. He desires our trust and when some fear- enticing-thing comes into our lives, Christ gives us every assurance that he is near with love and affection, ready to walk through it with us.
If you are interested in this topic and are looking for some strategies for not being afraid, I would encourage you to check out this book!