Fear takes on several forms.
One, fear can become a pervasive anxiety. Without even knowing why, fear wraps itself around us and will not let go. This kind of fear is debilitating. It takes the joy and peace out of life.
Two, fear comes in the form of inaction. Because we fear making a mistake, we keep from doing the great things of life.
Fear keeps us from doing the things that give life meaning, joy, and adventure.
I am convinced we all need adventure. God created us for it. If we don’t experience adventure in appropriate ways, we are apt to look for it in inappropriate ways.
One of the things I did with my daughters was to make sure they had a chance to do some “dangerous” adventures. Of course, I planned the adventures – adventures that would seem more dangerous then they really were. Those adventures gave them confidence and prepared them for the future.
Third, fear comes as fear of life itself.
Here is the good news. The “Good News” (the Gospel) always contains good news. God’s Word is filled with hope, even hope in the midst of fear.
How do we deal with fear?
First, rest in the presence of Jesus. Over and over again Jesus told his disciples not to fear. God told His people not to be afraid: ”Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). How many times did Jesus say those words or something like them? How many times did He tell the disciples not to be afraid because he would be with them always?
The presence of Jesus is the antidote for our fear. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
God left his disciples with his Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is peace, love, joy.
He is the answer to fear.
Second, rest in the promises of God – His presence, His power, and His assurance. Those promises are everywhere in the Bible. Let us find strength in them.
Third, rest in God’s perfect love.
I am intrigued with 1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” This verse is an amazing message given to us.
Who’s perfect love is it? I think it’s both our love and God’s love. God says you have nothing to fear about judgment because perfect love casts out fear.
If I am in the center of God’s perfect love for me then what do I have to fear?
If I seek to give God my love – undying and complete – then I truly have nothing to fear.
“Don’t let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1).
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