Fear affects so many areas of our life. Fear of loss… of a spouse, a child, a friend, our job, financial security or our health. Fear of failure, fear of looking or saying something foolish, so we end up saying or doing nothing at times. Of course, then you have all your fears of spiders, snakes, heights, dogs, flying, public speaking, the dark and so on… people are often paralyzed by these fears. Sometimes just in the moment but other times it stops us from moving forward in our life!
Most reports say around 85% of what we fear will NEVER happen. Then out of that remaining 15%, around 80% of what does happen isn’t near as bad as we thought it would be… to help you with the math, around 97% either never happens or isn’t near as bad as we made it out to be in our imagination!
Years ago, I would pray regularly and often that God would put a hedge of protection around each of our sons. As they became teenagers I would find myself pleading with God to protect them as they grew in their independence.
Not that it is wrong to ask God for these things, but I found I needed to change some of my communication with our loving heavenly Father. Imagine being in a healthy, loving family and your child or your spouse, regularly reminding you to please not to hurt them. Or, what if everything was going well at work but you still regularly ask and at times you are pleading with your boss not to fire you. I know that sounds crazy, but I realized, instead of acknowledging who God was, I was often pleading my case, just in case… Trust me, I still pray regularly for our sons, my husband, several friends and other family members, but my wording, my attitude has changed over the years. I now THANK God every day for providing that hedge of protection around my loved ones. I thank God that He has already gone before me in this day and that I know He is going to be with me throughout the day.
Too often in relationships we repel people because of our fear of losing them. Instead of just purely, unconditionally loving them and letting them know how grateful we are for them and their friendship. We might not see it in ourselves but you may see it in others, where they are communicating fear… Fear that the other person is going to hurt them or disappoint them somehow, before the other person has done anything of the sort. In regards of your work, to show your appreciation for having a job, what about working on having a great attitude, go above and beyond what is expected of you on a regular basis, pray for your boss and the company. Fear or insecurity can often come when we know we are not doing something that we should be.
Does this mean if I do everything right nothing bad is ever going to happen to me or one of my loved ones? Nope, the bible doesn’t say IF you have troubles, it says WHEN, but it also tells us fear not!
Everything in the bible is important but when something is mention several times we know God knew we’d probably need to hear it over and over. In the King James version the phrase “be not afraid” is found 29 times. In the New American Standard bible the phrase “do not fear” appears 57 times and “do not be afraid” appears 46 times. There have been some to suggest that “fear not” and similar phrases appear 365 times in the bible! Here is just a small sampling…
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Genesis 26:24 I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you.
Today at our church we sang “No Longer Slaves”, the lyrics I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God! If we are going to live the life God has purposed us for, it’s not going to be perfect, in fact at times it’s going to be messy, but we are going to have to learn sometimes “we have to do it afraid” to keep moving forward!