In the Grip of Fear

One of my favorite quotes goes something like this: “My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes — most of which never happened” (attributed to the French essayist Montaigne). I understand his point. Too often I’ve tossed in my bed thinking of the dreadful scenarios that lie ahead. But they usually don’t happen. And if they do come to pass, it’s not to the extent I expected.
Fear stalks many, and it can be difficult to escape its clutches.
Making matters worse, God is not pleased with those who are in the grip of fear. The “cowardly” (KJV – “fearful”) are grouped with murderers, idolaters, liars, and other evil people who are destined for “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8, NKJV). From this it appears that we should also be afraid of fear!
God does not condemn us for the natural response we feel when confronted with danger. Fear becomes sinful when we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by it. If God provides a way to escape fear, shouldn’t we have faith enough to break out?
Here’s how the psalmist described God’s promise to his people: “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). From what was this man delivered? From real dangers that confronted him, of course. But would he not also have been freed from imagined or exaggerated dangers? Knowing that God was by his side, he would have felt confidence and courage. He would be able to step forward into the dark future, knowing that he was not going alone.
The letter to the Hebrews is designed to instill courage in Christians who are timid by nature. One passage that should help release us from fear is Hebrews 13:5,6: “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For he himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'”
The soldiers of Israel looked at Goliath and said, “He’s much too big; I’m afraid of him.” David saw Goliath as puny when compared to God (see 1 Samuel 17). Faith sees the obstacles of life in a different light.
When fear seizes our souls, let us lift up our eyes to God. He will do for us as he has always done for his people. We can be delivered from all our fears.

One thought on “In the Grip of Fear

  1. I really liked the article about fear. Sometimes this is hard when you experience many trials and tribulations. I do find comfort in reading scripture!

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