I am afraid. I am fearful. Jesus tells me not to be, and I know He is in control. Still, it seems I cannot shake this fear. Is this fear something that endangers my life? Is it something that could harm me? No. Even in the most extreme hypothetical scenario, I would not be in danger from this fear. Lately this fear has been engulfing my daily thoughts. My world now revolves around my fight against this fear. The fear comes from something that I have done countless times. It doesn't make sense. I know it won't kill me. I know it’s not that serious. And yet it continues to govern me. This fear often causes me to question and forget God.
The bible has 365 verses that tell us to not be afraid or fear not. These remind me that God cares about my fear, and that it is important to Him that I overcome it. God understands fear, because He has fought against it with many others before me – He even fought fear with Jesus as he went to the cross. God and Jesus have been introduced to fear long before my struggle ever began, and they have a lot to say about it. I think the problem with fear isn't the fear but the action that follows. God wants me to be without fear, because fear can bring about sin or ways of living that He knows will not bring joy. These can include: angry outbursts, withdrawing from Him, withdrawing from what He has called me to do and leaning on my own solutions rather than on Him.
Some of my favorite verses that have helped me with fear include: 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 23, Mark 5:36, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:4 and 1 John 4:18. A couple of these verses have recently altered my thoughts on fear. Psalm 34:4, a verse that I have been clinging to lately, reads “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” As a kid, I know I can remember seeking out my dad if I was afraid of something. Once my dad was with me the fear would greatly lose its power, just by him being there. I think King David is telling us the same here – if you are afraid simply run to the one you trust. Further in Isaiah 41:10, God states, “Fear not for I am with you.” Again, the reasoning for not being afraid is that the one you trust is with you.
My new thoughts on fear revolve around what God wants from me when I face fear. First, I don't think He wants me to beat myself up, which I often do, over the fact that I am fearful. He understand that this happens. Second, I believe God wants me to come to him with my fears and reasons for being afraid. He wants to know why I am afraid and wants me to lean into Him. God wants me to come to him for comfort and to just be with Him. He desires for all of us to walk with Him and to know Him more, and if fear is the thing that causes us to go running to Him, then so be it. Lastly, He wants to be with us as we go through the fear, much like a parent does with their child, showing us that we don't have to be so afraid. When I lean in to Jesus during these times of fear, I am learning that I do get close to him. I do feel comforted. A solution does come. I can keep going and can keep moving forward. Said approach is how I am getting through my fear now, and I know how I will get through fears in the future. I will come to Him. He and His love becomes the solution to my fear.
Carter Smith, Storyteller