What is Fear?
Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Fear from the Greek: φόβος,phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”, is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat.
Types of Fear
There are different types of fear (phobia), ranging from fear of man, sickness, accident, chemical, animals, speaking in public, failure, fear of fear, etc. For a Christian, there are two kinds of fear: Godly fear or reverential fear of God; and evil fear which brings bondage. For a comprehensive list of the different types of fear or phobia click here. For prayer points against fear click here.
Reasons Why People Fear
There are many reasons why people fear. We will take a look at some of them.
In Matthew 14: 23 – 31 (KJV), we read:
23And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
From the above passage, Peter became afraid only when he fixed his attention on the wind and not on Jesus Christ. He had actually started walking on water towards Jesus Christ before he began to sink. Note carefully that Peter had seen the boisterous wind before he took the leap of faith to walk on the water (vs. 24), but fear made him to drop his faith and watch his situation. A lot of us Christians are like the apostle Peter today. We fix our attention on our physical, financial, academical, spiritual, social or marital status or state instead of “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith“(Heb. 12:2). 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” As long as we are led by the physical, we can not please God: Romans 8: 5 – 7:
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Another reason why some people fear is that they do not really trust God. We can easily say we believe God, but do we really trust Him? “With God all things are possible“. But do you really believe that it is so? Some fear “what if God will not show up when I need Him most?” Or what if God disappoints me and do not fulfill His promises that I claim to believe? The Bible is very clear in Numbers 23: 19: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
OVERCOME FEAR WITH FAITH
God has given us many good gifts, but He did not give us the spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1: 7 reads,
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
It is very important that we know what God has given to us. 1 Corinthians 2: 12 puts it this way,
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
When we know those things God has given to us, we can then classify every other thing He did not give to us and know how to reject them. The Bible calls fear a spirit in 2 Timothy 1: 7. This indicates that fear is not just only an emotion or feeling but can be enforced by a spirit, the spirit of fear: fear personified. God did not give us the spirit of fear.
Fear stops you from attempting to fulfill your God-given dreams and aspirations. Fear puts you in bondage. Fear brings a barrier around you. Fear tells you, “it is not possible”. Fear lets you know you cannot make it. It kills your faith and paralyzes your Christian walk. Fear brings doubt. It makes you see the reality of your situation and blinds you to the certainty of God’s truth. You cannot be led by the Holy Spirit when you are being controlled by the spirit of fear. You cannot follow God’s command when you have fear (the spirit of fear). God wants you to overcome your fears today. You can overcome fear.
The Scriptures prescribe a cure for fear: faith. Hebrews 11:1,6 puts it this way:
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Faith is believing God’s word concerning your life and following it irrespective of our condition, need or whatever our environment is telling us. Faith, which comes by hearing the Word of God, believing and acting on it, helps you to overcome your fears. If only you can believe God’s word, the truth about you, and live on it, you will have no fear. “Even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will fear no evil”. I want you to know that God is always with you anywhere you are and in any situation you find yourself. Don’t give up. He will make a way for you. Remember that He will always live up to His word. If only the Apostle Peter had continued looking at Jesus Christ and trusted that His word “come” could carry him through, he would never had sank in the sea.
What is your fear? You can overcome it today. The Bible says in Philippians 2: 10,11
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The spirit of fear is a spirit, and God did not give that spirit to us. You need to bind and cast out that spirit of fear from your life in the name of Jesus Christ; and it will leave you alone. I pray that God will give you the understanding of His word and the heart to believe what He has said, is saying and will say to you in Jesus’ name. I pray He will cause your faith to rise and help you overcome your fears. I decree that every spirit of fear in your life be bound and cast out of your life in Jesus’ name. And from today you will begin to live a life of freedom by faith to the glory of God Almighty in Jesus’ name. May your purpose in life be fulfilled in Jesus’ name. God bless you.
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