Generally, we try to keep things spiritually light in our blog. After all, we believe our mission in this blog is to talk about unconditional love as described in 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible. This doesn’t require profound spiritual discussions to make that point. It’s relatively easy to see throughout the Bible how deeply God loves all of us. But, this week I want to talk about fear, which for many people is so potent, that it requires a deeper understanding of God’s love to defeat it.
The reason I am even venturing into this topic is because I was recently discussing the issue of fear with Rebecca. Both of us have had tussles with fear at different times in our lives. This week, Rebecca was involved in an incident which pushed some of her fear buttons. The exact set of circumstances is unimportant. Suffice it to say that I, personally, would not have been afraid in this situation; but, for Rebecca, it was a challenge to overcome.
This brings me to my main point about fear. Fear is different for each person. But, it’s a legitimate feeling that can have many sources. Sometimes fear emanates from a very real life situation. Other times, we can have fearful thoughts that come about as a result of past, present and anticipated future experiences. These kinds of thoughts can also arise from ideas we devise in our own minds. I’ve learned not to let my mind wander into the “what if(s).” It’s way too exhausting to try to think about all the things that might happen, most of which never occur.
And, yes, fear can even come about through supernatural influences from the devil. (I know the subject of the devil can be controversial. We can discuss that another time. For now, I’m coming from the viewpoint that the devil does exist; and that, as the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, he prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour us.)
About that roaring lion business, many years ago I heard a man of God speak at a religious service I was attending. He stated the obvious, that fear can cause life to be very difficult. He proceeded to tell us that fear, though, is really like a toothless lion. From a distance, the lion can let out a loud, scary roar emanating from the depths of his massive body. This often causes us to run away afraid as fast as we can.
“Nevertheless, don’t fear that lion,” the speaker said. “Because, if you look at the lion up close, you’ll see that he has no sharp teeth to harm you. He only has that loud growl to make you think he’s powerful. But, in reality, he really isn’t as frightening as we may think. God is far, far stronger.” (Easy for him to say, I thought at the moment.) But, over time as I’ve grown closer to God, I’ve come to understand that the speaker was right. With God in the picture, fear is like a toothless lion who has no bite. Don’t let it overwhelm you!
God does not want us to be afraid. He tells us over eighty times in the Bible not to fear. So, I think a good source for overcoming fear is to regularly read the many passages in the Bible that encourage us to be fearless rather than fearful. One of my favorite is found in 2 Timothy 1:7, which tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline. Sometimes, when I am in a situation that causes me to be anxious, I say this verse (and others) out loud, repeatedly, until I calm down. Speaking the words so that I hear them increases my faith in their truths.
Fear is definitely able to be defeated. God’s perfect unconditional love will cast out all fear. This is a promise in the Bible upon which we can rely. Granted, there are many other techniques out there in the world to achieve the victory. I believe the best approach is to rely on God and His word to replace any fear within you with faith. It has worked for me and for many others. Why not give it a try the next time that toothless lion gives a roar your way?!
See you back here next week! Please join our U Love chain here!