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  • John Lineberry

Faithfully Facing Your Fears Fearlessly

If I were to ask you if you were ever afraid, I expect I would get a truthful answer of “yes.”Somewhere, sometime, almost everyone knows fear. David, the great and beloved king of Israel, was often afraid. Psalm 11 opens with this question, “In the LORD I take refuge; how say you to my soul, ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain?’” In our language today, we would say David wanted to get away from it all. He thought if he could hide in the hills every-thing would be all right.

Fear is defined as “painful emotion marked by alarm, state or habit of fearing; anxious concern.” Fear produces dread that often results in apprehension and anxiety accompanied by loss of courage. Spurgeon said a doubting Christian was often “Fearing one day he shall be drowned in a cart rut.”

A nationally prominent psychologist in his book on man's fears, lists a total of 288 fears. Of all fears cited, six rise to the top: poverty, criticism, rejection, illness, old age, and death. He states that the fear of rejection is the greatest of all—stronger than the fear of death.Some fear high places; others fear low places; while others fear being squeezed into too close of a space. Here are some other fears: mysophobia (fear of dirt); hydrophobia (fear of water); nyctophobia (fear of darkness); taphophobia (fear of being buried alive); xenophobia (fear of strangers); hemophobia (fear of blood); necrophobia (fear of the dead); triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13); algophobia (fear of pain); photophobia (fear of light).

Fear, like an enemy of despair, will sometimes come down upon one. When it does, remember the spiritual giants of Bible times were afflicted by fear. Abraham, the great example of faith, a friend of God, was told not to fear (Gen. 15:1). Joshua, captain of God's people, was told not to fear (Josh. 1:9). Isaiah, the prophet, was assured of victory over fear in the comforting promise, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa. 41:10).

The Apostle Paul wrote of triumph over fear, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear; but of power, and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7). The word for fear in that verse means “timidity, cowardice.” The word of “self-control” conveys the idea of a sound mind or good sense. The full meaning of “self-control” would include remaining “calm, cool, and collected” in all situations.

As you draw upon the strength of the Lord, you will be able to serve God boldly, courageously and unafraid. Trust in the Lord's power at all times. The Apostle John tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18). Fear has the ability to punish us. When we give ourselves to fear, it will bring punishment to our body and mind. However, perfect love will drive fear from us. Perfect love is a mature love that has has learned to trust in God at all times, in all circumstances.

Remember the Lord is over us, in us, around us, and underneath us to deliver us from fear. Robert Ketchum said, “Don't doubt in the dark what you know is true in the light.”

David's solution to win over fear was to trust in God. Fear sees only the things that are near. Faith takes in the longer view and puts trust in the Lord who is high above all.“The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man” (Psalm 11:4). Faith conquers fear as it claims at face value the promises of God. The Lord's presence, power and protection are constantly upon the believer to give him deliverance from fear. David rejoiced in the Lord as he marched to victory over fear, saying, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is my stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1).

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