Since the beginning of this world, it is unlikely that anyone, except Jesus Christ, has ever lived a life without some kind of fear. Whether it comes from a wasp attempting to sting, a stumble that nearly sends us over the edge of a cliff, a massive wildfire quickly closing in, a collection agency waiting outside our door due to an enormous debt, or even a mighty army threatening to invade our country—there is always something that will come along to cause us distress.
Fear does not discriminate according to sex, race, religion, age, economic and social status, or even emotional well-being—it is always waiting to exploit any opportunity that may arise in our life.
For the child of God, how does this fear typically form within us, or even manage to engulf us, like a terrible storm? It is able to take advantage of us when we forget that God is with us. God reminded Abraham to “…Fear not…I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:10 emphasis added).
Later, “…the Lord appeared unto [Isaac]…and said, I [am] the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I [am] with thee, and will bless thee…” (Genesis 26:24 emphasis added).
Next, the Lord told Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 emphasis added).
King David told his son Solomon, “…be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee…” (1 Chronicles 28:20 emphasis added).
Here we can see that when fear enters into a particular situation we are encountering, it is able to attack because we have forgotten that God is with us. But every time we take over a difficult situation, thinking we can handle it ourself, we essentially push God aside. In our over-confidence, we actually end up turning away from Him. He told us repeatedly that “He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” But we are the ones who forsake Him. This is how fear is able to overcome even the best of us.
If we take our hand out of His, and try to resolve the problem on our own, we find ourselves outside of His protection and care. Then fear really begins to build up and work on us. Once we sense the lack of God’s presence, we start feeling very alone. Before long, anxiety and worry take control of us. Soon we struggle and do all we can to overcome the difficulty now growing rapidly, which we have been trying so hard to eliminate on our own. Finally, in sheer desperation, we turn back to God for help.
The solution to this fear that tries to consume us is to remain in fellowship with the Lord. When we leave Him, then we are on our own, like a child who strays away from a parent. God is still there, but we no longer remain within His immediate grasp. As long as we stay in His presence and by His side, we will have no need to fear. Then we can tell ourself, that even if “…I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 emphasis added).
If we forget that God is always by our side, we reveal that godly love is not prevailing in our heart. The real problem is that we are not spending enough time with Him. “There is no fear in love; but perfect [godly] love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18 emphasis added). Therefore, instead of frequently experiencing life in a state of fear, remember those wonderful promises of God, our Heavenly Father, who told us that He “…will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”