"But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?"1
Fear is unquestionably a problem common to all. Somebody has said that there are 365 "fear nots" [or the equivalent thereof]* in the Bible—one for every day of the year!
Healthy fear is a God-given emotion. Without it we would get into all sorts of dangerous situations. We rightly fear, or should fear, driving through a red light or walking alone at night (or in broad daylight) in a dangerous area. If we don't, we're out of touch with reality.
The fears that give us problems are those that cause anxiety, sleepless nights, give us ulcers, cause us to fail in our relationships and in our work, etc., etc.
On the surface these fears may seem to be irrational. Usually they're not in the sense that they have their roots in past frightening or traumatic experiences. Even a dog, if it has been abused by a human in the past, will be afraid of humans—so will people.
So how do we overcome our fears?
First, like David, we need to trust in the Lord and seek his guidance to find the help we need to resolve our fears.
Second, if our fear is caused by a traumatic experience in childhood or in the past, very often skilled therapy is needed so the root cause can be resolved and trust restored.
Whether God heals us directly or through a counselor doesn't matter. The important thing is that we choose to trust God and ask him to give us the courage to face our fears-and lead us to the help we need to overcome them. As King David said, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you."
When I am afraid, I keep quoting David who also said, "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do unto me?"2
May our trust be stronger than our doubts and our love greater than our fears—for the God who brought us this far will not desert us now.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the courage to get in touch with and face all my fears so I don't set myself up to fail. And please lead me to the help I need to overcome them so I can honestly say with David, 'I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.'2 Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Psalm 56:3-4 (NLT).
2. Psalm 118:6 (NIV).
3. Psalm 34:4.
See "Conquering Fear" at: http://tinyurl.com/rhlho
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* How Many "Fear Nots" are there in the Bible?
It's been said that there are 365 "Fear nots" in the Bible, one "Fear not" for every day of the year—actually there are more than 365 "Fear nots" in the Bible! Thank God because we need to be reminded to "Fear not" and trust God every day.
Many people say, "It's a nice thought to say that there are 365 'Fear nots' in the Bible, but it's not true." Indeed, there is not a version of the Bible that 365 times says, quote unquote, "Fear not." For instance, the King James Version says "Fear not" or "Be not afraid" 103 times, but not 365 times.
So why do I say that there are more than 365 "Fear nots" in the Bible?
"Fear" is spoken of over 500 times in the KJV. Furthermore, in addition to the "Fear nots" many times it's saying "Fear God," which really means reverence God alone and do not fear anyone or anything else. Expanding the search to look at verses encouraging us not to worry or not to be anxious would add many, many more "Fear not" Scriptures. This is why I say that there are more than 365 "Fear nots" in the Bible.
From Soul Shepherding by Bill Gaultiere © 2010 http://www.soulshepherding.org/