Everyone is afraid of something. Fear is not the enemy. It is a necessary part of life. The key to life is choosing the right things of which to be afraid.
What are you afraid of today?
I remember some of my fears from childhood. Were you ever afraid of:
- The dark?
- Monsters under the bed?
- The opposite gender in grade school? Remember “cooties” anyone?
What is fear?
Fear is the emotional dread of impending doom. Most of the things people fear never come to pass.
This acrostic for fear adequately describes it.
F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real.
Fear can cause a misinterpretation of the facts. The key is to focus on what you know, not what you think might happen.
I’m not advocating you pretend like everything is ok when it’s not. Rather, I’m encouraging you to exercise faith.You will either fear God or everything else. Click To Tweet
Fear steals courage. Faith gives it. Fear robs strength. Faith imparts strength! Fear focuses on the unknown. Faith concentrates on God.
Satan loves fear. It is his tool to wreak havoc. Fearful people are prone to bad decisions and are easy to control.
Not all fear is bad, however.
People who have no fear are a danger to themselves and others.
I grew up in the countryside of Indiana. Riding four-wheelers and motorcycles was a way of life. It was possible to lose your natural fear of those powerful machines and start attempting dangerous maneuvers. People got hurt badly when they lost the fear of the machines.
There are three responses to fear. If not appropriately managed, fear can have adverse effects.
- Fight – This response can cause rash decisions.
- Flight – This response can cause you to run from problems rather than fix them.
- Freeze – This response can paralyze you from doing right.
On the other hand, Fear can be helpful:
- Fear makes you sharper. It helps you focus. Think about when you are high on a ladder.
- Fear helps you void real danger. There are things in this world of which you should be afraid. Consider watching for snakes in the woods or avoiding dangerous places in the city.
- Fear can help you stop making bad choices.
Fear is not a bad thing. It can be helpful when harnessed.
You will be afraid in this world, but you have a choice.
THE KEY IS THAT YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT FEAR.
Here are some things of which people are commonly afraid :
The fear of Man.
We tend to be afraid of what people think of us and how they will impact our lives negatively. The Bible warns against this trap.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: But whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
We should not fear man!
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: What can man do unto me?
Choose the fear of the LORD to find freedom from the fears of this life. Click To Tweet
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
The Fear of Failure.
Many people are afraid of failure. They will not attempt great things.
Jesus said people would fail at times. The key is to act wisely in faith.
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Failure is a way of life. Success and failure are on the same road. Success is just a little further down the road.
Step out by faith trusting God. Obey God and leave the results up to Him.
The Fear of Rejection.
You will be rejected. It’s no fun. It hurts. But you shouldn’t live in fear of it. Our Lord was rejected. Is the servant greater than the Master?
Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
The people who truly matter will accept you. God accepts you in Christ.
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
This is a list of man’s most common fears, according to the Washington Post.
- Public Speaking (Glossophobia)
- Heights (Acrophobia)
- Bugs & Insects (Entomophobia)
- Drowning (Aquaphobia)
- Blood/Needles (Trypanophobia)
- Enclosed in Small Spaces/No Escape (Claustrophobia)
- Flying (Aviophobia)
- Strangers (Xenophobia)
- Zombies (Kinemortophobia)
- Darkness (Nyctophobia)
Ultimately, we should be afraid of only one thing.
WE SHOULD FEAR THE LORD.
You will either fear God or everything else.
You can overcome every fear mentioned above through faith in God! Faith in the Lord begins with the Fear of the LORD.
No doubt someone will say, “We should not be afraid of God. God is love.” My response is that you need to read the Bible. All of it.
What is the Fear of the LORD?
The FEAR OF THE LORD is two-fold.
1. Afraid to disobey God.
If you have not been saved, you should fear God. His wrath awaits you after this life if you reject Christ.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Jesus Christ warned us to be afraid of Him (God) who could kill the soul.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Christians should fear the LORD as well. Just as a child fears the wrath of an earthly father, we should dread the discipline of our Heavenly Father.
If children of God disobey the Heavenly Father, He will chastise them.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If you consistently get away with sin and God does not correct you, then you are not saved. I didn’t say that. God did.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
God loves His children. As a loving Father, He will chastise them for their good and His glory.
2. Afraid to disappoint God.
Just as children should obey their parents, we should obey our Heavenly Father. We should want to please Him.
1 Thessalonians 4:1
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
The FEAR OF THE LORD is powerful!
When we choose to fear the LORD, it chases fear away and empowers us to live like God.
Consider what the fear of the LORD can do in your life.
The Fear of the LORD is the Beginning of knowledge.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
The Fear of the LORD will make you depart from evil.
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.
The Fear of the LORD causes us to obey God’s commandments.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: A good understanding have all they that do his commandments: His praise endureth for ever.
The Fear of the LORD generates trust in God.
Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: He is their help and their shield.
The Fear of the LORD brings God’s blessings.
He will bless them that fear the Lord, Both small and great.
The Fear of the LORD means we can trust the Lord’s mercy.
Let them now that fear the Lord say, That his mercy endureth for ever.
The Fear of the LORD Produces praise.
Bless the Lord, O house of Levi: Ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
The lack of the Fear of the LORD brings judgment!
For that they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: They despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, And be filled with their own devices.
The Fear of the LORD gives faith, peace, and joy.
In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: And his children shall have a place of refuge.
What an incredible list of benefits!
Furthermore, it is our duty to Fear the LORD.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
There are so many things you can’t control. But you can control fear by choosing to fear the Lord.
There is one thing of which everyone has a natural fear. DEATH.
Death is the great equalizer. It comes to us all. It is not a respecter of age, social status, wealth, or position.
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
Everyone fears death.
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Only Jesus Christ can save us from death!
Look at the verses surrounding verse 15.
And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Jesus paid for our sin when He died on the Cross.
Christ conquered death when He rose again from the grave.
1 Corinthians 15:53–57
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ can save our souls from Hell and our hearts from the fear of death.
Will you trust Christ today?
There are countless things to fear in this life.
You will be afraid, but God gives you the ability to choose your fear.
Choose the fear of the LORD to find freedom from the fears of this life.