October 27, 2010

Conquering fear


ear. If I had to choose one word to summarize my life I would likely have to chose the word fear. That’s not a good thing; it’s not something I am proud of. But I think it’s accurate. My life has been filled with fear.

Even as a child, I remember fear impacting my thoughts when my parents came home late. I remember imagining that they had been in a terrible car crash or had been mugged by roving, murderous lunatics. The fact that they always showed up safely didn’t stop me from producing this unhealthy level of fear the next time they were late. Or a few years later when my wife got stuck in traffic and arrived home late. Or when the boss said, “I need to talk to you.” Or when I saw a police car on the road with me. Or when the political campaigns were in full swing and I wondered about who would be elected.

Fear. All the time.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

But this is not God’s intention for our lives. We are not to be characterized by fear—especially not fear of what other people can do to us. God is in control. God promises to not test us beyond what we are able to withstand. God is loving and gentle; his yoke is easy and his burden is light. These are not things that should produce fear.

Thinking about these things, today I decided to look up some verses about fear in the bible and found a gold mine of verses containing the phrase, “do not be afraid.” I also found many other verses that dealt with inordinate fear and the fact that God’s people should not be governed by it.

Here are a few that I found particularly encouraging:

Genesis 15:1
“Don’t be fearful, Abram, for I will defend you. And I will give you great blessings.”

Notice that God gave two reasons why Abram should not be afraid. 1) God would defend Abram, and 2) God would give Abram great blessings.

Joshua 1:9
Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

We should not fear because God is with us wherever we go.

Proverbs 29:25
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

If we trust in the Lord, he promises to keep us safe.

Sometimes my fear arises from my knowledge that I have sinned. I am afraid of the results of my sin, and sin will produce unpleasant things in our lives. But we are still not to live in fear.

1 Samuel 12:20-22
And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people.”

May today be the day that marks a turning point from fear of men, which causes me to be paralyzed, to fear of God, which liberates me and produces boldness.



  1. Richard, we are all fearful people, and that is probably why God had to use the words "fear not" over and over again in Scripture. Thank you for this post. I appreciate when people are discreetly honest, and show the comfort Scripture gives.

  2. When Brooke was younger, I wrote out several of these scriptures and a few more for her to memorize called "Anxiety Busters." It is so helpful to meditate on scripture when our minds are in the throws of a panic. It helps us remember how big God is, and how small our problems are. After all these years of walking with the Lord, you'd think we'd get it, but we don't, because we live in these fleshly tabernacles. BUT GOD never changes and He can be trusted. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose MIND is STAYED on THEE."


No personal attacks. No profanity.

Please keep your comments in good taste. Leave a name so we know who you are. Your comments are welcome, but anonymous flames and sacrilege will be deleted.