I am not a very fearful person, but I worry a lot about other people and things I have no control over in their lives or in mine. Even so, everyone is afraid of something.
There were plenty of people in the Bible who experienced fear. Job said that the thing he feared worst had come upon him. He had been a wealthy, blessed man, but he lost it all. His fear became his reality. I’ve heard many people in my life talk about fearing particular things which eventually did come to pass.
My worst fear was divorce. I never really thought it would happen to me, but I feared being divorced and spending a life without love in it. It did happen. I did survive, and even though I may not yet have discovered the type of love I hoped for with a husband in the years that have followed, I have love coming at many in more directions than I can name. I am a blessed woman, exactly where I am even if I never meet and marry a true love.
Perhaps your worst fear is illness, having your secrets exposed, losing all your money, never having a family or children, or your career choice. All of us have a sensitive spot in our lives in which fear will try to take root. That doesn’t make us weak. It just makes us human.
We are not to spend our lives in Christ being afraid of things that might happen. Statistics show that most things that people fear never come to pass. The percentage is very low, and of those things, there is usually no way to avoid them and all of the worrying and fretting we might do will not keep them from happening.
The Bible speaks hundreds of times about fear. If you have fear in your life, you are no different than the earliest Christians and people who walked with God in ancient days. But the Bible makes recommendations about how to handle that fear.
Psalms 27:1 – “The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 118:6 – “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Isaiah 41:10 and 13 – “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. .. For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. ”
I could list on and on, but the message is clear. If we belong to God, there is nothing that we need to fear. Whatever situation arises, He WILL be with us. There is no sense in squandering today with worry when the thing we are fretful about may never even happen.
The only kind of fear that is healthy is to fear God Himself. I rather think that word means to hold him in holy, reverent awe, knowing that He is all righteous, all holy, sees and knows all of our words and deeds, and there is nothing hidden from him. If there is wickedness inside of us, power seeking, self gratifying, greedy, self promoting ambition, He knows it. He holds our individual lives in His hands as well as the ages of man. To fear a just God is the beginning of wisdom. That healthy fear/respect is a ray of light that shines in the darkness and leads us through life toward Him and toward His love.
Are there fearful things in your life that are plaguing you and stealing your joy? Turn them over to God, who has promised to never leave or forsake us. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” – Psalms 23