Something happens that produces tension and you responds in sinful fear, which increases the tension and produces an even greater fear response. Even more tension is produced with still another fear response greater than before. This cycle can go on, feeling as if it will never end, until panic has overwhelmed you and physical symptoms are in charge rather that sound-mind thinking. The more you try not to fear, the more fearful of the fear you become and the more you feel controlled by it.
Fear is selfish because it about protecting myself, my feelings, my stuff, rather than asking how I could heartily show love to God and others. Love reaches out to give and to meet the needs of another, but fear focuses on what I might lose, making me move away from the problem. Love causes me to work toward solutions even when I don’t really feel like doing that. Fear makes my world grow smaller and smaller as I seclude, hesitate, and self-protect. Love is so powerful it can cast out my fear when I allow God’s love to flow in me and through me!
Fear is self-protecting. Love is self-giving. Fear asks, “What will I lose?” Love asks, “What can I give to others?” Fear moves away from the problem. Love moves toward the problem. Fear secludes self. Love reaches out beyond self. Fear hesitates. Love moves ahead. Fear can be cast out. Love can cast out fear.
The sovereign king of the entire universe is our Father. He has not only created us, but He has also recreated us in Jesus Christ and has provided everything we need. Paul tells the timid Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7, KJV). Unbelieving, sinful fear is contrary to what God has put in us at conversion (Rom. 8:15). We overcome the grip of fear by knowing what God has done for us through His Son. We break fear’s grip by realizing God did not give this fear to us; rather, He has given us the spirit of power, love, and self-control.
When you live to please yourself, circumstances that God designs to teach you to trust and obey Him instead become temptations for you to fear and worry.
[Fear] is Satan’s weapon held in reserve. When alluring temptations fail, he opens his quiver and shoots these arrows to set the soul on fire, if not with sin then with terror. When he cannot carry a soul laughing to hell through the deception of pleasurable temptations, he will try to make him go mourning to heaven by this amazing attack. It is a sure sign that Satan is losing. The arrows he shot at Job were of this kind. When God let the devil practice his skill, why did Satan not tempt Job with some golden apple of profit or pleasure or some other enticement? Surely the high testimony God gave about Job discouraged him from these methods. Satan had no tactic left but this.
The person characterized by a fearful heart has a propensity to make an idol of security, perfection, or looking better than they are. This person may find themselves making conscious and/or unconscious statements like “Will they reject me?” or “I can’t risk it!” or “Where is God?” The person who chooses to not deal with a fearful heart may be characterized by false guilt and shame, social and/or spiritual paralysis, fear of man, and a shaken faith. Others might comment that their behavior or moods are up and down, nervous, tentative, and their social interactions are sometimes avoidant, or even paranoid in nature.
Understanding Bible prophecy encourages in two unique ways. First, it serves as a reminder that God controls history. When, you read from the pages of Scripture how He keeps His promises, your faith is strengthened…By reflecting on the fulfilled promises of the past, you can find great comfort as you look toward the future. Second, understanding God’s promises for the future provides a solid foundation to which you can anchor your hope—a sturdy shield with which you can deflect your doubts and fears about tomorrow…When you reflect on God’s plans and promises for you and for the world, you can face the future without fear.
Are we not all immortal till our work is done?
If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer – His grace sufficient, His promise unchangeable.
The presence of hope in the invincible sovereignty of God drives out fear.
Oh, it’s more than just the fear of being persecuted. When we choose to live lives that are not pleasing to the Lord, we do so because we fear missing out on fun, or fear that our idols of dependency will be snatched away, or fear God’s way won’t effectively get the job done, or fear we will be pulled out of our comfort zone, or fear that it is going to cost us too much. The list continues, but it all comes back to fear, and fear results because we walk by sight and a lack of faith in God’s promises (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7). We don’t always live to please God because we think we know better than God as to what it takes to make us more productive and content and happy.
After the fall came sin. Sin leads to guilt. Guilt leads to fear. Yet if you are in Christ Jesus, all your sin and guilt has been taken away. You are forgiven, accepted and loved by the Father. With God fully on your side, you have nothing to fear. Worship God by enjoying the freedom He secured for you in Christ.
We fear so much today simply because we do not fear God.
The worst evils of life are those which do not exist except in our imagination. If we had no troubles but real troubles, we should not have a tenth part of our present sorrows. We feel a thousand deaths in fearing one, but the (the Christian) cured of the disease of fearing.
Fear can overwhelm your senses. It can distort your thinking. It can kidnap your desires. It can capture your meditation so that you spend more time worrying about what could be than considering the God who is. Fear can cause you to make bad decisions in the short term and fail to make good decisions in the long run. Fear can cause you to forget what you know and to lose sight of who you are. Fear can make you wish for control you will never have. It can cause you to distrust people you have reason to trust. It can cause you to be demanding rather than serving. It can cause you to run when you should stay and to stay when you really should run. Fear can make God look small and your circumstance loom large. Fear can make you seek from people what you will only get from the Lord. Fear can be the soil of your deepest questions and your biggest doubts. Your heart was wired to fear, because you were designed for life shaped by fear of God. But horizontal fear cannot be allowed to rule your heart, because if it does, it will destroy you and your ministry.
Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.
Fear that does not take you to God, will take you away from God.
Fear of man is fear run amok. It might start with the very natural fear associated with being vulnerable and threatened. At times, however, this alarm is not regulated by faith. It becomes fear that is consumed with itself and for a time forgets God. It becomes a fear that, when activated, rules your life. In such a state, we trust for salvation in others… It is a slippery slope between normal fear and an idolatrous fear of man.
Fears are loud and demanding. Even when you know they are irrational, they can still control you. It is hard to argue with feelings that are so intense, and easy to be loyal to our inaccurate interpretations.
Fears see only in part. They see that we might lose something dear to us, such as our money, our health or the health of someone we love. They see the potential for loss with microscopic acuity. But they don’t see God’s presence, they don’t see His faithfulness to His promises, they don’t fixate on unseen realities but are dominated by what is merely seen with the naked eye (2 Cor. 4:18).
Anxious and fearful people can easily slip into taking Scripture as a pill. Take one passage twice a day for two weeks and your symptoms will be gone. When the pill doesn’t work we have two choices. We search for another treatment, or we confess that we are using Scripture as a self-help book for symptom relief, in which case it is time to get back to basics. If you choose to get back to biblical basics, Peter’s exhortation to humble ourselves is a great place to start [1 Pet. 5:6-7].