Have you ever wanted more than anything else to say or do something that was weighing on your heart, but fear stopped you? At one time or another, we’ve all bumped up against fear’s cold, icy grip. It can stop us from having the courage to do what we know is right, and from achieving our dreams. The good news is that God knows all about this force, and we can overcome it when we rely on Him.
We can be tormented by fear of failure, fear of death, fear of financial trouble, fear of crime, or the fear of anything else; it can shut us down and paralyze us if we let it. Fear isn’t just a feeling—it’s actually a powerful spirit. It preys on our minds. This evil spirit isn’t from God, and it can be defeated. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
God has blessed us with strong minds; we can trust Him to give us divine protection against the inevitable spiritual attacks that will come our way. What we receive from Him is a type of power that only those who rely on God in all areas of their lives can understand. He is the essence of love itself; when we believe that living in safety against danger is His will for us, we find peace. “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).
God’s reassuring message to us is that we don’t have to live in fear; this is so important to Him that He repeats it multiple times throughout the Scriptures. He knows there will be situations in life that can frighten us, but He delivers us from every scary scenario. “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). As God’s children, we accept by faith the promises He made to us. Our heavenly Father won’t let the spirit of fear terrorize us. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15, 16, NKJV).
We must be careful not to succumb to fear because often the thing we’re most afraid of is what materializes in our life. This is not to say that we’ll never feel fear. Even Jesus felt it from time to time, because He was fully human; however, He refused to let it control Him. The key is to entrust everything—even what we dread the most—to God. “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high”(Proverbs 29:25, AMPC).
In the Old Testament, when God tested Job’s faith, Job admitted that what he was most afraid of had come to pass. He cursed the day God gave him life and began to feel sorry for himself (Job 3:1-26). God had to remind Job that He was above everything, even the evil that can befall anyone. The next time fear jumps out at us, having confidence that God’s hand is mightier than anything that comes at us helps us defeat it.