Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Fear in our own lives takes all shapes and sizes. You probably know what I’m talking about. In fact, fear is one of the great killers of modern life. Thousands of us suffer from the negative effects of being afraid.
I’m sure that fear is the single biggest problem that most of us face. It pretty much underpins every other problem we face in our life.
It is insidious. It creeps upon us without us even realising, slowly taking over our lives. It steals our confidence, makes us feel insecure, affects our relationships and stops us doing things. It becomes so deeply embedded within us that most of the time we don’t even realise that it is there—it becomes part of who we are.
Things People Fear
Sometimes we do the most silly thing because of fear. We may be afraid of:
- being late
- not finding a parking space
- not having enough money
- missing the plane
- upsetting people
- what others think
- being unable to accomplish tasks or pass exams
- losing our jobs
- running out of money.
The list goes on and on. But I’m sure you know what I mean.
Some common fears people have are:
- closed-in spaces
- dogs and cats
- being laughed at
- even fear of being unattractive.
These and a thousand other fears prevent us from living life to the full. They keep us trapped by guilt and self-pity. There are numerous instances of fears that keep people from getting what they want every day.
A guy who wants to start a business but sees all the problems before they even manifest. Ultimately, he decides against it because these problems seem so insurmountable, leaving himself and his potential clients unhappy.
Every day, many people are prevented from accomplishing their dreams due to these imaginary obstacles. I am sure that I have had my fair share of these unjustified fears. I love what the Bible says in Psalm 27:1 (CEV):
You, Lord, are the light
that keeps me safe.
I am not afraid of anyone.
You protect me,
and I have no fears.
What a wonderful statement!
The Way to Conquer Fear
We need to admit truthfully to ourselves that we are afraid. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But many of us live in denial—we pretend everything is OK when it’s plainly not. Recognise fear for what it is—stop making excuses or calling it some other name. As long as we try to justify ourselves or rationalise the problem, fear will stay with us. There is no shame in admitting our fear. Courageous people know they are afraid, but go ahead anyway.
It’s simply deciding with God’s help that you won’t be afraid anymore. I realise it’s easier said than done—but with his help it is possible. You have resources beyond yourself. When we believe by faith that God is with us, we can overcome the anxiety and apprehension. We do not need to face the difficulties alone. We can confront them—one by one—in the strength of God our Heavenly Father. This is what makes all the difference!
Someone wrote to Billy Graham:
Can God help me overcome my fears? I know I shouldn’t be this way, but I’m always worrying about what might happen to me or my children, and things like that. Sometimes it’s all I can think about. I even have nightmares about bad things that might happen to us.
His answer was this:
Yes, God wants to help you overcome these fears. He loves you, and He doesn’t want you to be haunted by constant fear and anxiety. The Bible says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
Billy Graham said that the key is to learn to trust God. I know this sounds simple—but think about it for a moment. If you truly believed God loved you and was in control of your future, would there be any room left for fear? Instead, you’d commit every situation to him in prayer, and you’d know nothing could happen to you that was outside his control. You’d learn to say with the psalmist, “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear” (Psalm 27:3).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 – NLT)
Billy Graham explains this doesn’t mean you’ll never face problems or dangers; we live in a world that has been touched by evil. But it does mean you can know God is with you every step of the way, and even in times of trouble he won’t abandon you. Jesus warned, “In this world you will have trouble.” But then he added, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Begin by asking Christ to come into your life—and he will. Then ask him to help you trust him in everything. Your fears may not vanish overnight, but as you commit them to Christ, “the peace of God…will guard your hearts and your minds” (Philippians 4:7 – NIV).
Have a look at this Bible verse sometimes: Isaiah 35:4—here it is in The Voice translation:
Tell those who worry, the anxious and fearful,
“Take strength; have courage! There’s nothing to fear.
Look, here—your God! Right here is your God!
The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs.
None other than God will give you success.
He is coming to make you safe.