Facing Our Fears
May 21, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. - Luke 12:6-7 NKJV.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. - 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV.
So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” - Hebrews 13:6 NKJV.
Have you ever been afraid to leave your home? Some people are and it is a well-known psychological phobia called Agoraphobia. The Mayo Clinic website has some good information about the phobia and says this, “People with agoraphobia often have a hard time feeling safe in any public place, especially where crowds gather. You may feel that you need a companion, such as a relative or friend, to go with you to public places. The fears can be so overwhelming that you may feel unable to leave your home. Agoraphobia treatment can be challenging because it usually means confronting your fears.”
Personally, I’ve had a fear of getting out of bed on a few mornings. It wasn’t Agoraphobia, it was just what I knew was waiting for me at work that day! If you have experienced that, you’re okay and it’s not Agoraphobia. However, those who do actually have the phobia may experience panic attacks, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, feeling shaky, numb or tingling, chest pain, or pressure, dizziness, and a lot of other unpleasant symptoms. Check the Mayo Clinic site for a more complete list.
The word fear is mentioned 359 times in the NKJV of the Bible and 385 times in the KJV. The phrase “fear not” is in the NKJV ten times and in the KJV 63 times. Fear is common to the human condition. Every person ever living upon this earth has experienced fear to some degree. So how do we cope with something that we all must face?
Fear can be overwhelming to the extent that it paralyses our lives making any kind of action almost impossible. I read a story this morning about crossing the street in Vietnam. If you want to cross the street in Vietnam you will have to forget about your fears and “charge straight ahead.” A Vietnam Travel Guide says this about it: “You want to get to the other end of the street, but it does not look quite feasible. Unless you try it. Crossing over the jam is actually not that bad. You will just have to do it. The magic is that no one will ever run into you.” (Vietnam Online; Sumitra 05.20.14)
The way you have to cross the street in Vietnam is somewhat similar to how we Christians must face our fears in life. Knowing that God is with us and that we in God’s eyes are of great value we too need to “charge straight ahead.” As it has been noted by many, if you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat. If we want to experience the abundant life that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10) we have to climb out of bed in the morning, put on our game face, open the door of our home, and face our fears. Remember this: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).”