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Buffy St. John: Blog

Fear

Posted on April 10, 2016 with 0 comments

Everyone at one time or another feels fear. Fear is an emotion from which we find it difficult to escape. There are a number of different types of fear; fear of the unknown, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of financial loss, fear of the loss of a loved one, fear of illness, fear of physical harm, and fear of death, to name a few. Fear will come, but how we handle it is key.

Being a Christian does not isolate a person from fear. Fear is an emotion and emotions are part of our human makeup. But, as an emotion, fear can either paralyze or motivate. I remember the Nike shoe commercials that called us to “JUST DO IT.” It's a “feel the fear and do it anyway” type of thing. That actually is the definition of courage.

Many books have been written about the issue of paralyzing fear, and many motivational speakers have gotten rich on other people's fears. Basically, we pay a few hundred or even thousands of dollars to get a pep talk, go through a weekend of exercises, and (hopefully) learn to overcome whatever we fear at the moment. Then, another giant comes into our lives and we are struck down by a new fear.

Fear as a great motivator depends on Christ. The Word clearly states, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, New International Version). There are times when we know that in and of ourselves we cannot accomplish what is asked of us. We either give up and run away, or jump into Christ's arms and say, “I can't, but you can, and greater are you Lord that lives in me than that task that seems insurmountable.”

There is an edge that comes with motivational fear that is not experienced with any other emotion. When we press into God, He uses us and our fear in such incredible ways that we are astounded. For a simple example, have you ever been afraid to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but have done it anyway out of obedience to God. When the fear has been overcome and that person accepted Christ, or told you that what you had to say they really needed to hear at that time, how did you feel? Pretty humbling, yet joyful, isn't it?

In Proverbs 9:10, we see that healthy fear brings wisdom, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Why is there wisdom in fear (awe) of the Lord? Too many people take the Word of God lightly; too many take the will of God lightly. By fearing God, we honor what is holy and through our reverence and obedience we receive God the Holy Spirit. He gives us, “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our minds are opened and we see that there is nothing we need fear with God, “If God is for us, who [or what] can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We desire to comply with God's will. We trust, and don't oppose his plans for our lives.

There are many examples in the Bible of people not fearing God and going on their own. They didn't understand the holiness of God and his ways. We in this generation are living with the consequences of that lack of respect and reverence to God by people in the past, particularly Adam and Eve.

In Isaiah 55:7-13, God clearly states his thoughts, his ways, and his plans.

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and

he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. "For my thoughts are

not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens

are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than

your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to

it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the

sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return

to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent

it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into

song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush

will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the

Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."

What God says will come to pass and our fear will only prevent us from achieving all we are meant to accomplish. If we trust Him to carry his plan out in our lives, we will succeed. The choice is ours.

Some of my favorite verses are Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 32:27, "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” And, Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

These verses let me know that I can trust God to take me through anything that I may fear. His Word tells me that he will also give me the wisdom, and anything else I need to accomplish the task or get through the plan.

God told Joshua not to be afraid, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). This shows me that God understands our fear, and, in his goodness and love, He is so sweet that He promises to never leave us or forsake us. He gives us example after example in his Word of how He keeps his promises and the Bible says God never changes; He is the same every day.

Some of you are living each day in unhealthy, un-needed fear. Learn today to place your fear only in the Lord and not anything apart from Him. He will surely help you through to victory. Be willing to “just do it.” Face your earthly fears with the Lord in you and move on through.

Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, sometimes I'm afraid and that fear prevents me from trusting that You are in control. There are times that I just don't see that and get paralyzed in my fear. Help me to give up my earthly fearful ways and my desire to control You. Help me to trust in Your plans and will for my life. Help me to be content with where I am, knowing that You will never leave me nor forsake me. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.