Fear. An unpleasant emotion or thought caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. Fear. A darkness that stalks, creeps until it consumes. Fear. A distressing emotion. Fear. Caused by perceived danger. Fear. A feeling of apprehension or uneasiness.
Fear. A feeling we have all felt at some point in our life.
I believe fear to be a natural human response to the threat of danger or harm, it alerts us to a problem or situation that warrants action. For example, a person may be afraid to dive into a deep pool of water for fear that they may drown. The situation is diving into the pool, the fear is the possibility of drowning – this is the response to the threat caused by the depth of water. If, in that moment, fear wins; we would not dive into that water at all. However, if you took time to assess “can I swim?” “how deep really is the water?” “is there a lifeguard should there be an emergency?” – depending on the answer to these questions, the threat may reduce and with a reduced threat comes reduced fear.
This is a simple example of how fear works but fear is often much more complex than this. Fear often starts early on in life, a common fear felt by all as a child is the fear of the dark. Most young children struggle to sleep in their own rooms without their parent(s) around because they are afraid of the dark and the threat of something dangerous being there. Important to note here, this is a perceived fear. Usually, there is absolutely nothing in their room and absolutely nothing to be afraid of but to that child, the threat is very real.
Left unchecked, we carry this fear throughout life. We become afraid of making new friends, exams, applying for jobs and opportunities and it carries through adult life – afraid of failing, afraid of committing to marriage, afraid of raising children, the list truly is endless.
One thing to note about fear – it is a response to something and that is all it should be – it can remain a response and not become a home. What do I mean by that? You do not have to let fear overwhelm you to the point that you can no longer move. Fear can get to that point; it can be totally disabling. I have experienced fear to this point in the past but, thankfully, I now know how to deal with it through His word, 2 Timothy 1:7 in AMPC is really assuring.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
Firstly, fear is not from God. Let us say that again – the spirit of fear is NOT from God. If it is not from God, then who can it be from? None other than the enemy of God, Satan. Fear goes directly against the nature of God which is all-powerful and all-knowing; this further affirms that fear is not from Him. This verse clearly states that the spirit of timidity – cowardice, craven and cringing and fawning fear is not from God.
So, if He has not given us fear – what has God given us? “He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” The part I want to focus on is “calm and well-balanced mind”, a mind filled with fear is far from calm and well-balanced. Often, when fear arises, our thoughts become erratic and we are unable to remain calm through the worry of today, tomorrow, next year and so on. However, this scripture is telling us that God GIVES us a calm and well-balanced mind in place of fear. So, we do not have to live life in fear.
Like many things, this is much easier said than done as we are faced with situations that can bring about fear nearly every day. One practical way in which I have pushed past fear is in declaration – to speak forth what God says despite what I am feeling. When faced with something that causes fear to arise, no matter how I am feeling, I speak out and say, “I do not have a spirit of fear”. Immediately, this brings awareness to my mind that God is indeed my source and if fear is not from Him, I do not have to be a victim of it. The more I do this, the more I have seen faith rise within me and fear diminish.
Today, I encourage you to embrace the truth in God’s word that He has NOT given you a spirit of fear. If you are feeling fearful today, take comfort in His truth and continue to declare that your mind is calm and, sooner than you think, you will tangibly experience this calm within and around you.