Overcoming Fear

Fear can be defined as a response to a threat, whether real or perceived. In the world of psychology, there are hundreds of fears known as “phobias.” For instance, someone who suffers from “xenophobia” is said to be afraid of strangers or people from foreign countries. If one is “claustrophobic,” that person has a fear of confined spaces. If someone is afraid of animals, they are said to have “zoophobia.” More specifically, if one has a fear of spiders, that person has “arachnophobia.” Of course, not all fear is bad and I am not belittling or judging what someone is going through in their life. The Bible discusses “the fear of the Lord,” which is showing reverence and honor for God. In regards to parenting, for fear that a child may be seriously hurt or killed, parents will warn their children about dealing with strangers or running out into oncoming traffic.

Fear becomes a serious issue when it controls someone’s life.  Fear can paralyze us in both the physical and spiritual senses. Fear can lead to anxiety, inaction, indecision, depression and medical problems. Have you ever woke up with a sense of dread about the upcoming day? You are allowing fear to dictate your thoughts and emotions. Have you allowed the news of the day to dictate how you respond to the world? You are being controlled by fear. Do you allow thoughts to run through your mind about your spouse leaving you, losing your job, or that you have failed as a parent or Christian or you might have a self-diagnosed illness? Once again, you are walking in fear.

Faith is the opposite of fear. If we are saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no need for us to walk in fear.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV).

Let’s take a few moments to break down the key words in 2 Timothy 1:7.

Spirit (Strong’s #4151) Pneuma- “current of air, breath, or a breeze.”

Fear (Strong’s #1167) Deilia- “cowardice, unmanliness, and timidity.”

Power (Strong’s #1411) Dunamis- Force “new and higher forces working in this world; It is “power, ability,” physical or moral, as residing in a person or thing. Power in action.

Love (Strong’s #26) Agape- “affection or benevolence.” This type of love is often referred to as an “unconditional” love or love expressed by actions, such as God sending Christ to die for our sins.

Sound (Strong’s #4995) Sophronismos- “discipline, self-control.” In a literal sense, “saving the mind through admonishing and calling to soundness of mind, and to self-control.”

Mind (Strong’s #4995) This Greek word is the same word as the above word for sound.

If the word “spirit” indicates a wind or a breeze, think of how the wind can move a sail boat, a kite, or tree branches- the wind is dictating the direction of these objects. Thus, if we are controlled or oppressed by a spirit of fear, the fear is dictating the direction our life is going and keeping us in bondage to our fears. However, God through His ultimate expression of love and His Holy Spirit has given us the ability to overcome our fearful thoughts. Through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we have the power and authority to overcome our fears, whether they are real or perceived and have our direction guided by the wind of the Holy Spirit.

There are both people who know Christ and those who do not know Christ who are tormented by fear because the enemy of our souls seeks “to kill, and to steal, and to destroy,” (John 10:10).  However, we must feed our faith and starve our fears.

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13, KJV).

There are hundreds of verses in both the Old and New Testaments that God reassures us to “fear not” or “be not afraid” we must take these Scriptures and take the fight to the enemy and the fears that we face. I will share a handful of verses, but I encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourselves. If you believe you are being tormented by a spirit of fear, seek wise Christian counseling. Do not allow your lives to be controlled by fear because we are free in the Spirit. Christ came to set the captives free. There is no need to sit in the prison of fear, as these Scriptures will attest.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10, KJV).

“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” (Isaiah 41:13, KJV).

“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1, KJV).

“…Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5:36, KJV).

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27, KJV).

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage unto fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14-16, KJV).

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18, KJV).

“…Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:17-18, KJV).

May the Lord bless and keep all of you.

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