If fear is going to attack me it generally happens late at night. In fact, it’s usually about the time I crawl into bed and I’m still and quiet. I think in the busyness of the day I can avoid it with tasks and conversations, but at some point it catches up with me.
I think many of us lay in bed at night just staring into the darkness spinning off worst case scenarios.
We fear the failure of trying something new.
We fear a relationship that seems to be unraveling.
We fear being stuck in the same career forever.
We fear our dreams may never come true.
We fear trusting God in that one area that scares us to death.
Jesus issued 125 commands or imperatives. Of those 125, actually 21 of them have to do with this topic of fear and encourage us to “not be afraid” or “not fear” or “have courage” or “take heart”.
The 2nd most common command, to love God and neighbor, appears only eight times.
Now the frequency of a passage doesn’t always equal importance, but it’s safe to assume that Jesus takes our fears quite seriously. The one statement he made more than any other was, “Don’t be afraid.” He said it fifteen times in the four gospels.
The goal is not to use God so that I can attain a fear-free life. In fact, you’ll never have a fear-free life if your primary goal is to have fear-free life. God is not a means of fear-avoidance. The focus is not on “How can I fear less?” but on “How do I trust God more?”
See, when I experience fear the temptation for me is to trust in “me”.
I want to trust my strength.
I want to trust my gifts and abilities.
I want to trust my education.
I want to trust my social skills.
I want to trust my network of people.
But if it hasn’t already happened there will be the moment you realize that none of that stuff can help you.
That’s why God is the answer to all our fears.
Is God good? Yes.
Is God loving? Yes.
Is God all-powerful? Yes.
Does God have a plan for his children? Yes.
Am I one of His children? Yes.
So there is no reason to fear anything for God is in control of everything. This doesn’t mean that all the scenarios that I fear are going to turn out the way I want because they most certainly will not. But it means I can trust God with the future knowing that He has a plan much greater than mine.