Published on January 11th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Pastor Paula White: Overcoming Fear & Anxiety
As born-again believers, peace should be our normal condition, but not everyone enjoys peace as part of their daily lives. Fear and anxiety cause many problems for a believer, two of the major ones being that fear and anxiety clutter your spirit; and can kill your dream, thus derailing your destiny. Fear is “kryptonite” to the believer.
Living in turmoil, worry, anxiety, fear and frustration is abnormal for a believer. So, what does the Bible say about fear? Is there any fear that could be considered “healthy?” Let’s examine what God’s Word says.
The Bible speaks very candidly about fear and anxiety. There are two types of fear in the Bible: the fear of the Lord and the spirit of fear.
The “fear of the Lord” is actually healthy, and encouraged. It does not necessarily mean to be “afraid” of God. Rather, it is a reverential awe of God; a respect for His power and glory. In the same way that we would respect our parents, we would respect and reverence God. The fear of the Lord is also proper respect for His wrath and anger. In other words, the fear of the Lord is a total acknowledgement of all that God is, which comes through knowing Him and all His attributes.
The fear of the Lord brings with it many blessings and benefits. For example, Psalm 111:10 says,
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”
The fear of the Lord is discussed extensively in Proverbs. Here are a few:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
“The fear of the Lord [tendeth] to life:
and [he that hath it] shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.”
“The fear of the Lord [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27
“In the fear of the Lord [is] strong confidence:
and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
We can see how the fear of the Lord is healthy, because it provides life, security for your children, protection from evil, confidence, and satisfaction. The fear of the Lord also births spiritual wisdom and knowledge.
The second type of fear is harmful to the believer. It is harmful because this type of fear becomes a stronghold that paralyzes the believer. Fearful thought patterns in a believer must be overcome and replaced with the confident thoughts of the Word of God– your very destiny is at stake here!
The “spirit of fear” is mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:7, which states, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” We see right from the beginning that this “spirit of fear” does not come from God, but from Satan, who wishes to steal your destiny and mine.
Anxiety is to worry about things that have not happened, and may never happen. Fear is sometimes based in emotional, soulish feelings which looks inward and finds instability. This can be overcome by gaining the right focus, which is upwards in Christ. You don’t face your fears alone – for He has promised, “I will never leave … or forsake you.” Sometimes fear is a demonic attack that comes out of nowhere. Have you ever felt a sudden attack of fear? We must make war against Satan by prayer and using the name of Jesus to cast the enemy out when this is occurring.
Now, let’s look at anxiety. Anxiety is different than fear because anxiety pulls and gnaws on your mind and soul, causing health problems and insomnia. Very often, anxiety stems from unresolved mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. An improper diet, drug use, even the use of some anti-anxiety drugs may also contribute to feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety is like a spider’s web. It is difficult to isolate one strand of the web from the rest of the web. With anxiety, it may be difficult to isolate one cause from other related factors. This illustrates the need for Christian counseling and prayer.
Harmful fear can be based in several different things. The main thing that fear is based in, which Christ took care of on the cross, is sin. When God created Adam and Eve, there was no evidence of fear in man or beast. There was perfect harmony between God and His creation, and man. When sin separates us from God we become fearful and begin to hide from God, just as Adam did.
Sometimes there are learned fears that we picked up during our childhood and adolescent years. Other times there is an accumulation of fears that we derive from our parents or peers. Fear can be based in ignorance; the less we know about something, the greater our level of fear. Fear can also be our imagination. Many of our fears are imaginary; they’re about what might happen. It’s what I call False Evidence Appearing Real.
Many of our fears come from failing to grasp our position and status in Christ. We are overloaded with guilty feelings and burdened with a poor self-image that leads to fear of failure, fear of rejection, and other qualms.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, describes these kinds of irrational fears as spiritual strongholds through which our enemy, the devil, seeks to keep us in bondage. These fortresses of fear are established primarily in the mind, and the battle must be fought on the spiritual level.
As born-again believers, complete peace should be our normal condition. Fear and anxiety cause many problems for a believer. Having the fear of the Lord brings blessings, but the spirit of fear can derail your destiny. The cure for fear is experiencing the perfect love of Jesus Christ, which casts out all fear. If you are a fearful person, and don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior, I have the answer for you:
First, we need to confess our sins and ask God to forgive us through Jesus Christ.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Second, we need to confess our wrong to those we have wronged. Asking forgiveness, making restitution, if appropriate, will help roll away the reproach and restore relationships.
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest
that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before
the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then
come and offer thy gift.” (Matthew 5:24)
Third, receive the forgiveness for yourself.
“Come now, let us reason together, saith the LORD;
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
When you are saved, you are placed into union with Jesus Christ. You are one with Him, united in His death, burial, and resurrection. You are His adopted child, placed into His forever family. You are no under condemnation. (Romans 8:1) You are completely accepted by Christ despite inconsistent behavior. (Ephesians 1:3-14) God never accuses you or berates you. (Romans 8:31-39)