All people feel fear, even the great spiritual leaders of the Bible. The seemingly fearless Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 7:5 “For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within.”
Fear can be defined as false evidence appearing real. It can have a wide range of torture, from the simple annoyance of returning to your home to see if you have left the stove on, to the debilitating fear that keeps you prisoner in your home.
There was a time when I allowed fear to grip my life. Waking up at night feeling terrified at the thought of driving. Instead of facing my fear I gave into it, spending many months only leaving the house when I had to. I allowed the fear to take the peace and joy out of driving which I had always had before.
Fear can make us perceive false evidence to appear real. My fear made me really feel that if I continued to drive the worst would happen.
1 Peter 5:6-9 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary the devil , prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”
Satan’s goal is to keep us paralyzed by fear keeping us from being effective witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you remain in your fear people look at you and say, “Your God is not helping you live your life any better than I live my life without a god.”
Peter knew all about the devil’s schemes, being racked with fear on the night of Jesus’ betrayal, he said about Jesus, “I do not know the man,” even though they knew he was with Him. After Jesus rose from the dead He reaffirmed His love for Peter casting out the fear in his life, to the point that on the night he was to be killed for his faith, he was found sleeping in the jail. Wow, what a change. He truly learned how to cast his anxiety on God, because he knew God loved and cared for him.
Just as fear causes you to change your behavior from joy and peace to dread and terror, casting your anxiety on God causes you to change your behavior of fear to become a witness of God’s perfect love.
1 John 4:16-18 “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgement; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
This means love is perfected in you by the belief that God really loves you and is not punishing you. This gives you the confidence not to shrink back in fear when God wants you to go through a hardship or trial. Once you really believe God loves you, your trust in Him will overshadow your fears.
How do you cast your fear when it seems so real? 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”
Whenever a thought comes into your mind that is not according to scripture, you must take it captive, replacing it with God’s word.
For example; I felt fear in driving my car, but the truth is God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power love and a sound mind. I don’t have to give into the fear, I can choose to have a sound mind and be powerful and overcome the fear.
Isaiah 26:3-4 “The steadfast of mind Thou will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting rock.”
Father, thank you for keeping us in perfect peace when we keep our mind on you. In the name of Jesus, amen