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What About Fear?

By Joyce Webb 2009

Fear is a choice?

You may be surprised about that. You think fear comes and you have no control over it. When certain things happen to you--fear rises inside--you didn't think about it---fear was just there.

So how can fear be a choice?

Fear comes to all of us. Inborn in us is a natural fear so we protect ourselves from danger.

We have learned to fear certain things because of what others have done to us or said to us. When situations like that come up in our lives our brains tell us to be afraid because of our past experiences.

There are all kinds of things we fear:

*Afraid of natural things like storms, fire, etc.

*Afraid that people will not like us.

*Afraid that people will say unkind of things about what we do, or what we look like.

*Afraid that if we try to do something, others will laugh at us or criticize us.

*Afraid that we will fail at something we try and not succeed.

*Afraid to love others or let others love us.

*Afraid to show our emotions and how we feel.

*Afraid to get too close to people emotionally.

*Afraid to trust others.

*Afraid of death

*Afraid of not having enough money, or enough food, or other things we need.

*Afraid to talk to others to tell them about our faith in God.

There are many other things that people are afraid of.

In the Old Testament, God wanted some of the men to be leaders and help the people follow God's teaching and obey God.

Some of these men were afraid to stand up and speak to the people. They were afraid the people would not want to hear what they said. They thought that the people would be angry with them.

God spoke to these men and told them not to be afraid because he would be with them. Here are some of those promises:

Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, do not lose courage, for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go."

Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with thee. Do not lose courage, for I am your God. I will give you strength, I will help you. I will hold you up with my right hand."

Psalms 56: 3, 4 "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee (God)."

Psalms 56:11 "In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do to me."

Psalms 20:7 "Some trust in chariots, and some trust in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God." Long ago war was fought with chariots and horses. The more chariots and horses you had the more likely you would win. But King David knew that just horses and chariots were not the answer, if God was on your side---you would win no matter what the other side had.

God will help us just like he helped those men of long ago. The Bible says that Jesus/God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God's power is the same. He wants us to have His power in our lives.

David was a shepherd boy who became a king.

While he was a boy at home watching sheep, God allowed some things to happen to help prepare David's faith.

One time a bear came to take a sheep from the flock. David was able to kill the bear. David had only a club and slingshot and his own hands. That was not much. They were weak things compared to the strength of the bear. But God's power using those weak things made David successful.

On another time, a lion came to get a sheep. David killed the lion.

Later on, when David went to see his brothers who were fighting a battle with the Philistines, David saw the giant, Goliath.

All of the soldiers of Israel were afraid of Goliath and would not try to fight him. The army was doing nothing but waiting. When David learned what was happening, he remember how God had helped him kill the bear and lion with just a club, and slingshot. He knew that God could help him kill this giant.

Goliath was insulted when he saw David come toward him with just a slingshot. He said, "What do you think I am, a dog?"

David knew that he did not have the strength in himself to kill the giant. But David knew God's power. He trusted that God would help.

I'm sure David felt fear. That would be natural. But David chose to ignore the fear and choose to trust and have faith.

David said, "I come to you in the name of the Lord of the armies of Heaven."

God came to David's help. God gave extra power to the stone as it left the slingshot and it hit Goliath in the forehead with great force. Goliath fell face down. He knocked him out.

David ran to him and took Goliath's sword and killed Goliath.

David was the only one of all those soldiers in the army who was willing to choose faith over fear and step out to do a brave thing.

In those verses that were quoted---God told the men to have courage and not be afraid.

Were the men afraid? Yes! Courage does not mean you have no fear. Courage means you do something in spite of your fear. You choose to move out in faith rather than stand doing nothing in fear.

God sometimes allows things to come into our lives like the "bear and lion" so that we learn to trust God and move out in faith. Then later when something really hard comes up---we have learned to trust God.

Give up the fear---put aside the fear----choose faith and trust.

David said, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."

Fear happens to all of us. We can keep the fear and do nothing or run away---or we can choose faith and trust God to work things out.

Here are some more verses about fear and faith:

Romans 8:15 "For you have not received the spirit of bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, so you can say Abba Father."

As believers, we have the spirit of God in us---the Holy Spirit---that is not the spirit of fear. We have been adopted as God's children by the death of Jesus--we can call God "Father".

If you had a good earthly father, you know that a father protects his child and comes to help them. Your earthly father would do whatever he could to help you.

Our heavenly father wants us to trust him in that same way.

Psalms 4:8 "I will lay down in peace and sleep for you only, Lord, make me live in safety."

King David had many times when he was out in the fields fighting battles. There was plenty to fear. But David knew God's peace and he could lay down and sleep.

Some people have a hard time sleeping. They worry about many things. Keep your mind on Jesus. Keep your thoughts praising Him. You will be able to sleep.

Psalms 25:20 "Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in thee."

David could have held back and not tried to fight the giant. He could have been like all the other soldiers. David could have been afraid of what the other men would say if he tried to kill the giant and did not succeed. If David did not succeed, David would have been killed.

David did not worry about shame--he trusted. God did not let him down.

Psalms 32:8 "I will instruct (teach) thee and teach thee in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with mine eye."

God will teach us the right way to go. He will show us the right way to do something. He will help us say the right things. He will guide us as we take each step until we do whatever thing it is we must do.

Psalms 31:24 "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord."

Psalms 37:39 "He is their strength in the time of trouble."

Psalms 42:8 "And in the night his song shall be with me." God can give us joy and peace even when we go through sorrow and sickness and bad times. Deep inside us we can have His peace and joy.

Psalms 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear."

Psalms 57:1 "Be merciful to me (show me mercy), O God, be merciful to me, for my soul trusts in thee, yes, in the shadow of thy wings I will have refuge (safety) until these troubles be past."

Psalms 62:8 "Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us."

You can tell God all you problems, troubles, sorrow, disappointment, hopes, dreams. You can tell him all that is in your heart. He is a safe place for us.

Psalms 71:16 "I will go in the strength of the Lord God."

You cannot have any more power than that! God's power is greatest of all. If you go in His power---you will succeed.

Psalms 91:1 "He that dwells (lives) in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

Psalms 91:4 "He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust. His truth shall be they shield and buckler."

Just like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, we are safe under the "wings" of God. He covers us.

And like a shield protects in a battle---God protects us.

God is most interested in protecting our heart and spirit--our relationship with Him.

Often we are most interested in protecting our lives, our health, our homes or things.

Those things are important to God, too. But God will allow things to happen to us to get our attention on our relationship with God. God will allow things to happen to get us to think about our faith and trust in God.

Do not become angry and bitter when things happen----ask God what it is He is trying to teach you.

Sometimes bad things happen because of other people's sin and selfishness. We live in a world full of sin. We will not be free of all trouble.

Sometimes bad things happen because we were not careful about how we did things, or how we ate and took care of our bodies, or how we paid attention to safety.

Many times we can see that God's blessings have come to us because we have trusted in Him. We can see that we have more strength and wisdom because of His spirit guiding us.

Do not allow fear to rob you of success. Do not allow fear to remain in your life in any area----replace fear with faith. It is a choice.

You can not have fear and faith at the same time. You will have one or the other. Fear is a thought and faith is a thought. You choose which thought you will allow in your mind.

Fear will rob you. Faith will make you strong and help you succeed.

Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him."

Fear is sin. If we keep fear we are sinning. We can only please God but keeping faith.

Choose faith---give up fear.

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