When I attended pharmacy school I took a pediatric specialty elective. It was in one of these classes I learned that babies are born with only two innate fears – the fear of falling and the fear caused by loud noises. Furthermore, these two fears are reflexive in nature. A fight or flight response of our sympathetic nervous system.
Do you know what this means? All other fears are learned behaviors!
The phrase “fear not” or “do not be afraid” appears in the Bible 365 times. Is that just a coincidence or is that a daily reminder for us to not be afraid? I believe this is a loving Father, our Creator who formed us in our mother’s womb, telling us every morning as we start our day,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. You are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord you God… You are precious in My sight… Do not fear, for I am with you.” –Isaiah 43:1-5
Is it really possible for us to walk through the waters and fires of life with no fear? The world teaches us a different mentality. The world gives us a pep talk that shouts, “Feel the fear, but do it anyway!” or “Do it afraid!” All this popular mantra boils down to is psychology. It’s a mind trick for overcoming phobias.
Now, we can buy into the world’s methods, including this psychology, but by doing so I believe we are selling ourselves short. This isn’t really conquering our fears. This is compromise.
God’s ways are not our ways. They are higher than our ways! They are better! So, if the word of God says 365 times to “fear not,” then I believe Him at His word that it is possible to fear not. I know it is impossible for me to accomplish this using my own strength (again that’s just psychology), but I know all things are possible with God!
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
So rather than fear, God gives us power, love, and a sound mind! These three characteristics are gifts from God. They are also traits of God Himself. Let’s study these three gifts a bit closer…
- Paul reveals to us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 that God spoke to Him saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Paul’s fearless response was this, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
- Paul also fearlessly says in his letter to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” [Philippians 4:13]
- Paul endured much persecution, but he knew the power of Jesus Christ dwelling within him. This made him more than a conqueror! This made him fearless!
- 1 John 4:18 tells us “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” Sounds easy, but what exactly is perfect love? John answers this question in this same chapter. Let’s look at verse 12 which says, “if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” Again, verses 15-17 says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us.”
- It’s like a baby, safe in his mother’s arms. She loves her child so much, she would never let any harm come to him. How much more does our heavenly Father love us? When we have the revelation that our God is a good Father who loves us unconditionally and that He promises to never leave or forsake us, then we can rest. Then we can feel safe and secure in His arms. Fearless!
- 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us, “we have the mind of Christ.” The Spirit of God dwelling in us searches the depths of God. He knows God’s thoughts toward us and He reveals these thoughts to us.
- Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ declares the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end (a hope and a future).’“
- Isaiah 26:3, “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”
- Peace is the fruit of fearlessness!
These three characteristics – power, love and a sound mind – come not from ourselves, but only through Jesus Christ who abides in us. Do you realize dear children of God that we have the One who calms the storm living in us! Greater is He who is dwelling in us than he (the enemy) who is dwelling in the world! [1 John 4:4]
The opposite of fear is trust. When we have fear, what we are really saying is that we don’t trust God. However, when we trust God – really trusting Him at His word – then we have nothing to be afraid of.
What is it you are afraid of?
Fear of Abandonment? The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed. [Deuteronomy 31:8]
Fear of Man? – Stop regarding man whose breath of life is in his nostrils for why should he be esteemed? [Isaiah 2:22] Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. [Luke 12:4] The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. [Proverbs 29:25]
Fear of Dying? – For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [Philippians 1:21] Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” [John 11:25] O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? [1 Corinthians 15:55]
Whatever our fears may be
we do not have to hide our fears through false bravery,
but rather we can overcome our fears through Jesus Christ!
YOU CAN BE FEARLESS!!!