Fear can be crippling, debilitating, and enfeebling. Fear by definition is an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined. How many times have you allowed this false emotion stop you from pursuing your dreams, hopes, and aspirations?
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had to face some fears in our lives and although we may not be proud to admit it; unfortunately we’ve allowed those false emotions to impede our progression in one way or another!
In God’s omniscience, He knew that fear would be one of the greatest challenges we would have to overcome; this is why one of the most oft-repeated commands in the Bible is ‘do not be afraid’. Of course, the Bible does more than issue the command; it gives us good reasons why we do not need to live in fear!
The more you focus your time and energy on fear, the bigger it becomes. Unbeknownst to most, fear grows when you give it too much attention. If you keep thinking on your fears, they will grow out of proportion and take over your life, since whatever you focus on grows, including your fears.
In lieu of focusing your attention on the various kinds of fears aka phobias (unknown, failure, death, etc), the Bible teaches us to fix or center our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. We “think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, NLT). As Jairus the synagogue ruler was bringing Jesus home to save his daughter, he received news that his daughter had died (Mark 5:35). Immediately, Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (verse 36). In other words, Jairus must forgo the natural focus on the tragedy and fear and focus instead on faith and the Lord’s nearness. In choosing to not be afraid, we remember that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Faith and praise is the antidote to fear, and gratitude negates worry. Habakkuk the prophet was fearful of the invasion of his country, and he described his fear vividly: “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled” (Habakkuk 3:16). But in the following verses, the prophet handles his fear in a godly manner: he “waited patiently” to see the Lord’s intervention (verse 16). He acknowledged that difficult times could be on the way (verse 17). He purposed to praise the Lord (verse 18). And he focused on the Lord’s power and promises (verse 19). In that focus, Habakkuk learned to not be afraid. And that’s how he ended his book, on a note of praise to the Lord.
Look at it this way, when David came against Goliath, he didn’t stand for hours starring at the giant wondering how to win the battle. The Bible says that he ran quickly (faithfully) to the battle line, all the time talking about the greatness of God and declaring his victory ahead of time (praise). David didn’t run away from his giant— he courageously ran toward him because he knew that the God in him was greater than the fear (giant) that wanted to consume him!
My brothers and sister, I don’t know who I am talking to today but I’m here to tell you that if you continue listening to your fears, you will leave this earth never fulfilling all that God had purposed for you to accomplish!
You might be wandering did David feel any fear as he approached Goliath? Well, David was 100% man so I would say of course he did. However, in David’s writings he never claimed to be free from the feelings of fear, but he chose to fight anyway, and God honored his faithful obedience! The battle between he and Goliath propelled David to a level of greatness he would have never accomplished had he not overcome his fear with faith and praise!!