Unfounded fear is an oppressive agent in the lives of God’s children. It presents itself in various modes; but, if left unchecked, it will prevent us from living life to the fullest—for His glory.
Not all fear is bad. For instance, God tells us to fear Him in reverence. Psalm 111:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; All those who follow His commandments have a good understanding; His praise endures forever” (NASB, 2020). We do not fear God in the same way that we would fear a grizzly bear, enclosed spaces, great heights, etc. Rather, we recognize that God is good, desiring the best for His children.
We fear the Lord as we realize He is perfect in every way. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. Seeing this contrast amid the frailness of humanity gives us reason to stand in awe and reverence. True, God-honoring fear causes us to look at the perfection of God, while hating all things that oppose Him—sin. Proverbs 8:13 instructs, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride, arrogance, the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate” (NASB, 2020). This does not mean we hate sinners, who are created in God’s image. Instead, we hate sin. Sin blinds mankind to the goodness and holiness of God.
Scripture emphasizes the importance concerning the fear of God, but there are also other forms of fear that are healthy. In the previous example, fearing a grizzly bear or great heights are God-given, good instincts. If we had no healthy fear of dangerous situations, then we would not make it through life. No fear of a grizzly bear equates to likely injury or death by a grizzly bear. God has given us wisdom for a reason, and it honors Him when we value life, exercising astuteness each step of the way. This fear is good if it is not crippling. For instance, if we never leave our house due to the fear of grizzlies, then our fear is not healthy or pleasing to God.
Now that we have established that all fear is not bad, let’s address the negative issues of fear. Fear that is unchecked and controlling is a denial of God’s place in our lives. Fear suggests that either He is not enough, He does not care, or He will not act within a situation or circumstance. This sort of dread and anxiety will silence and immobilize us.
What fears threaten your God-given purpose? Are you afraid of others’ perception of you? Afraid of uncontrollable aspects of life? Afraid of failure? Loss? Whatever your fears are, it is good to remind yourself that God is good, caring, and capable. He will use a surrendered life in faith, equipping you to accomplish all His purposes. Pray for strength and boldness from the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:29-30) and watch how God works in your life. No situation is too great for God!
To learn more about fear, how others are dealing with it and practical steps you can begin putting into practice to conquer the fear you face in your life check out these encouraging episodes on Liftable.tv:
“The Fear Factor | Ep 1” of Gutsy Faith:
Fear when left uncontrolled can become the greatest hindrance to your relationship with God and with others! If we are not careful, we’ll allow fear to discourage, distract, and deter us from the great things God has called us to do. When it comes to facing our fears, it is important for us to realize that courage isn’t the absence of fear, but rather it is the ability to trust God even in the midst of fear. In this episode, Gari and Carla will teach you three key courage principles that you can apply to your life so you can face the future that God is ultimately calling you to walk in, regardless of the fear factors coming against you!
“Why Are You So Afraid? | Day 16” of Grow with God:
Join host Kytia L’amour as she speaks on the topic of fear and how Scripture helps when you are afraid.
“Fear | Part 1” of Women of Faith | Collection of Classes:
In part one, Women of Faith’s Alita Reynolds and author and life coach Haley Scully open up and share some of their own personal stories of dealing with fear. You’ll hear about the hope and help each found through her unique experiences.