Last time, I discussed how fear is relational. That is, when we feel afraid of something, there’s a person behind that fear. We can ask God to show us who we’re afraid of and why.
Now how do we get out of this fear trap? How can we be free from being afraid of this person?
From my research on fear in the Bible, here are some principles that point toward a solution:
- We overcome our fear of people by fearing God instead.
- Fearing God is a combination of recognizing His ability to do more harm than any human person and revering Him as a perfectly loving and caring Father.
- Fearing people and fearing God are mutually exclusive. In other words, when we fear one, we cannot fear the other.
- It is perfectly normal to feel fear. However, the problem arises when we act out of our fear of people. Instead, we are to act out of our fear of God and our trust in Him.
- We lose our fear of people when we focus on Jesus and retrain our emotions to fear God instead of people.
In light of these principles, here’s some exercises to try:
- The next time you feel fear, ask God to show you who is behind the fear. Wait until you get a name, or a face, or an image of a person. Once you have that, ask how this person is threatening you. (This part is the same exercise I proposed last time.) Now ask God two things: 1) Lord, how are You actually more threatening than that? 2) Lord, how are You more caring than that?
- Jesus once used this technique on his disciples. He said, “Don’t fear those who can just kill the body. Rather, fear the one who can not only kill the body, but also throw your soul into hell.” He then immediately followed up with a teaching of God’s Fatherly care. This means that God’s awesome power and God’s loving care always come together.
- The point is to be able to live out this principle: “The LORD is my helper; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” If you truly see how threatening God really is and yet how caring He is, then the power of other people looks quite puny in comparison.
- Try saying “I feel afraid” instead of “I am afraid.” This simple tweak is aimed at helping you separate your emotions from your core being. Then say, “God, at my core I’m fully loved by You.” Because as a Christian, that’s the truth. Talk with God about whatever comes up in your heart as you say these lines.
- Spend time enjoying God’s goodness. Journal how He has taken care of you or how He gives you joy. Write down what a perfect father would look like to you, then ask God to show you in the Bible how He is like that.
Question: How does thinking about God’s power and care help you overcome your fear?
Leave a comment to continue our conversation.