The subject of fear has been weighing heavily on my mind throughout the month of February. Not only have I felt a strong urge to examine it as an emotional force forensically as an objective observer, but the Good Lord has also given me, at the time of writing, the opportunity to experience it subjectively too. I can therefore say with all confidence that I now know the subject inside out!
I spoke to a friend recently who’d also been experiencing testing times with fear she found a practical answer in claiming the following promise:
“The Lord God will help me, I will set my face as flint for I know I will never be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:19).
As we talked about fear- (I am resisting the urge to call it an emotion by the way- I will explain why later) we discovered that it is a sin with origins in unbelief. When we entertain the experience of fear we do not believe that God will save, help, deliver and bring relief when we need it. Fear causes us to doubt #God and the faithfulness of His promises to us.
Looking into this further, I realise that there are some sins which we hold on to because we do not consider them to be sinful. Perhaps this is because we do not purposely bring fear upon ourselves- it may seem like a side effect from the challenges of life that are to be expected. We can be overwhelmed and immobilised by worry, fear and anxiety and when we do, we are distanced from God. Even though God is in the same place- we have allowed the enemy to draw us away by stealing our joy and our peace and surrounding us in darkness. It is at this time we can forget God’s promises which are all “yes and amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Did He not say:
He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrew 13:5)
Cast your cares upon Him because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7)
Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6-7)
He delivers us from all our fears (Psalms 34:4)
He heals the broken hearted ad binds up all their wounds (Psalms 147:3)
He will go with us to fight for us against your enemy to save us (Deuteronomy 20:4)
This is the way walk ye in it (Isaiah 30:21)
We can go on and on and on but if we do not believe God’s promises-He is not a man to lie (Numbers 23:19). He is indeed, the Father of the Heavenly lights with whom there is no variation nor shadow of turning, who gives every good and perfect gift (James 1:17), according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). If we believe him, then neither “fear” nor “worry” should be in our vocabulary and anxiety should be an alien experience.
The bible tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear (it is not a God-given emotion) but of Power, of Love and a Sound Mind!” (2 Timothy 1:7). If we do not believe God then we invite unbelief into our minds and are as a consequence casting pearls (promises of peace and deliverance) before swine (the devil and his evil consorts).
Not only does unbelief interfere with our relationship with God, it also cause us to miss out on the blessings that He would otherwise give us: In Matthew 13:58 we clearly see that the disciples unbelief prevented them from healing the child who was deaf and dumb. As soon as the father of the boy realised that his own unbelief had an impact upon his son’s healing, he cried out to Jesus to “help his unbelief” and that is what we must do when we encounter fear.
The remedy for unbelief is faith even if it is as small as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Faith is qualitative- Jesus tells us that even a tiny amount is able to move mountains. Our metaphorical mountains: those side effects from the challenges of life referred to above can be removed by faith- faith in the promises contained in God’s word.
So whenever we are assailed by fear we are not to entertain, nurture and cherish it. We need to recognise it for what it is- as shoddily disguised unbelief and dismiss it before it takes up permanent residence in our affections.
What impact has fear had on your life?
How have you dealt with it?
How will you deal with your unbelief in future?
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