Five Things I Try to Remember When I Am Afraid

untitled_artworkFear is an enemy that kills without firing a shot.

Fear cannot grasp you, but it can paralyze you. Fear cannot choke you, but it can leave you gasping for air. Fear destroys.

We know what it is to be afraid. From walking through a cemetery at night as a child to worrying about the future as an adult, we all know what it is to be afraid.

How do we handle our fear?

Here are five things I try to remember when I am afraid.

First, I try to remember that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Though this is somewhat of a difficult verse, this is what I think it means. God’s love is perfect as He is perfect. If I place my life in His hands, I have nothing to fear because of His perfect love for me.

Second, I try to remember that the same God who has been with me in the past will be with me now. He promised to never leave me nor forsake me. He promised to be with His people always, even to the end of the age.

Obviously, we can count on God. The Psalmist reminded us that when we are afraid, we can trust Him. Simon Peter told us to cast all our anxieties on God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5: 7).

Third, I try to remember that most of the things that worry me will not come to pass. After all, when I walked through that cemetery at night at age 8 or 9, nothing happened! Most of the things I fear never happen. Even non-believers can understand that fear becomes irrational and that we must live in the real rather than the perceived.

Fourth, I try to remember that I was made for eternity. Like Paul, I try to remember that to live is Christ but to die is gain. The second-century Christian apologist Justin Martyr could say to those who threatened him and his fellow believers, “You can kill us, but you cannot hurt us.”

Finally, I try to remember that God is with me wherever I go. I cannot (thankfully) get away from His presence. When darkness seems to hide His face, I can still know that He is with me. I can still rest in His unchanging grace (Cornerstone, Hillsong) When life is overwhelming, I remember that even the darkness is not dark to Him (Psalm 139:12). He is with me and will never let me go.

When you face fears, hold tightly to the God who loves you and is with you now.