What is Fear?

“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.” – Proverbs 29:25 [NLT]

Circumstances in today’s world have given us every reason to be afraid. Wars are raging in Ukraine and Israel. Inflation is at an all-time high, and some people are still reeling with fear and anxiety from the pandemic. Did you know that fear in the mind leads to anxiety in the body? When you are fearful, your body has physiological reactions. You may experience a spinning mind, a racing heart, or a churning gut. It’s important for you to recognize these signs in your own body so you can combat them before they overwhelm you. 

What is fear all about anyway? Fear is about the future or the unknown. We constantly stress about what tomorrow will bring or what next year will bring, and life is full of unknowns. I often say that, if God showed us what would happen next, we wouldn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. It’s not a bad thing to feel fear; it’s part of being human, but we can’t stay there. 

Throughout my years as a senior pastor, I have seen people handle fear in one of two ways. Some people give in to their fear and some people get through their fear. Below are 5 key points about fear you should know: 

  1. Fear turns us into false prophets. 
  2. Fear is vision without hope. 
  3. Fear is planning for a godless life. 
  4. Fear of tomorrow robs you of today. 
  5. Fear over time invites demonic oppression. 

We read about Gideon’s fear. He feared the world, so he withdrew. He feared his enemies, so he hid. He feared the future, so he questioned God’s goodness. He feared his calling, so he questioned Jesus’ assignment. He feared God’s Word, so he asked for signs. Gideon feared his family, so he tore down their altar at night. Lastly, Gideon feared being defeated, so he lived defeated. 

Despite all this fear, God was faithful. In Judges 6:12, Jesus appeared to Gideon and encouraged him. To encourage literally means to “put courage in” someone. He showed up to put courage in Gideon. Jesus said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” Our Heavenly Father is with us. He hears us and He answers our prayers. Gideon prayed, and Jesus came down to meet him. Jesus wants to come down and meet with you too. He wants to walk you through your fear to build up your faith. Be encouraged by this today!

When have you been, or are you currently, in a place like Gideon (withdrawn, overwhelmed, discouraged, stuck, frustrated, oppressed)? Pray to God and ask Him to come down, meet with you, and give you courage.

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