Everyday we are bombarded by fear: fear of violence, fear of economic crisis, fear of losing a job, fear of catching some disease… We are all under attack by the ghost of fear in many areas of our lives and we must learn how to deal with it. And this is what I’d like to talk to you about today. Do you know how to deal with your fear?
All growth and maturation involves challenges and fear is a device used to paralyze and prevent us from moving forward in what God has for us. It is normal and fully acceptable to feel those “butterflies in the stomach” when we’re facing something new. What is not acceptable, however, is that we fail to advance because of fear.
First, it is important to highlight that God’s Word tells us in 2 Timothy that fear was not given by God.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but He has endowed us with power, love and self-disciple. Those are weapons that defeat any fear.
The Lord is my light and my salvation — so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? (Psalms 27:1)
See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. (Isaiah 12: 2)
It is very important for Christians to know and to have intimacy with their God and also with the power of his might. When we meet someone, we have the chance to decide between trusting this person or not. But when we grow in intimacy with this person, we start to have experience with this person. Therefore, we find ourselves in a position where we can KNOW if this person is reliable or not.
We Christians must walk in intimacy with our Father, not only knowing his Word, but knowing that it is true and real since we already tested the faithfulness of God in our lives.
When we know our God, there is nothing to fear, for we know that He is the strength that dwells within us. We realize that, when we think we have no power, when we think we are weak, this is when we find out we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). God is our strength, and through Him we can face any challenge that arises before us (Philippians 4:13).
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. (1 John 4:18)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 38-39)
God loves us with an infinite love. He loved us when we did not deserve it and He gave the best he had, his son Jesus Christ, to reconcile us with him. Nothing and no one can separate us from that love.
If God, our good shepherd who cares for us in small details (Psalm 23: 1), the creator of everything that exists in the universe (Genesis 1) and who has saved us in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16), our loving Father who never abandons us and have plans of Peace for our life (Jeremiah 29:11), is always with us, there is nothing to fear.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14: 26-27)
Fear is something that comes to disturb us and to steal our peace. It tries to prevent us from seeing things as they really are, and the more we focus on the challenge and on the source of our fear, the more fear grows within us.
However, the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, our comforter and helper (John 14:16), helps us to maintain peace and balance in the face of fear, because he teaches us and always reminds us who God is and who we are in Him.
If we decide to focus on the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and not on what causes us fear, He will allow us to see things as they really are, and He will show us that however large and ghastly the source of our fear seems to be, even greater and more powerful is our Father who is always with us.
If we choose to focus on God, in his fortress and his immense love for us, we’ll be able to walk in peace and balance throughout any situation. We’ll be able to hear the counsel of the Holy Spirit and we’ll be able to act with no fear, successfully facing any challenge that appears before us.