Afraid Of Fear (ATP)
“I have struggled with fear and anxiety for years to varying degrees. Sometimes the anxiety comes on me during times when there truly is something bad going on and it often is due to trauma I’ve experienced in the past. While my fear and anxiety is and has continued to improve I still have fear about one thing. In the story of Job he says that what he has feared the most has come true. Due to my fears I am afraid that I have set these things in motion that will cause my fears to come to pass because of what happened to Job. I am seeking the Lord for help and relying on scripture to help me through but it’s not perfected in me yet. I’m concerned now the things I’ve feared will come to pass like they did to Job.”
First let me say this, this would be a great thing to talk to your pastors about when you are dealing with it. Maybe not each and every moment, but certainly reach out. We are equipped to help people through such things, and it is a joy to do so. Don’t wait so long to get your help! Often people keep things in too long and we can’t help them if we don’t know. I am also glad that you chose to write this because many people deal with the exact same thing.
Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV), “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” You may have noticed that I went back to the NJKV version for this scripture not the NASB which I have been using primarily lately. Both are accurate but I think this version’s wording will help someone in your situation better. My first advice would be to spend so much time learning this scripture that whenever fear arises, this is your immediate response to it. What we have here is the basis for our faith, so follow me closely.
What we see in this scripture is what God has given and what He hasn’t. What God has given belongs to us, in all things and in every area. What He hasn’t, does not. Fear is not a fruit of the Spirit and is no more ours than cancer, or sorrow, or sin. If you are embracing fear, or fear is trying to embrace you, your first line of defense is in knowing that it is trespassing. You will have to deal with it but if you remain afraid something is going to happen, you are embracing it. You will need to speak to it, and to yourself, that fear is not what God has given you, therefore it is a lie. Fear of something that hasn’t happened is a lie.
See, when you’re afraid that your fear is going to produce something in your life, it can because that fear causes you to act in a certain way. It is not that your fear just magically makes things manifest. This is no different then if someone came up to you and said something nasty to you. I say this often, it’s not what happens to us that matters, it’s how we respond that does. We know that the Christian response to a person who lashes out is not to lash out back. Now, we can, but we know that a fight will ensue. God has called us to peace and we are supposed to be peace makers and responding in kind only elevates the situation. The same thing happens when we respond to fear with fear.
Fear comes upon all of mankind daily. For example, when I dealt with severe anxiety. strange things would happen to me. Once when I was walking across a field I was suddenly gripped by the fear that if I started floating away there was nothing I could do. I know what you’re thinking; that is absurd right? It is, but in the moment I was irrational and started to have a very real panic attack. Fast forward to now, I’ve learned not to embrace fear and so this type of thing is never an issue. If the thought came, I’d simply laugh it off.
So why does fear cause things to happen and why did it for Job? Fear is a doorway into negative faith. If Godly faith brings us to His blessing, ungodly fear leads us away from it. See, you think that your fear will in of itself cause the thing you fear to happen but that’s not exactly how it works. Your fear opens the door to the path for it to happen because if you embrace the fear you will continue to make decisions opening more doors, you won’t combat wrong thoughts with right actions, and then eventually, bam, you have your fear realized. In other words, fear leads you down the path of destruction. If you travel that path, no amount of word, or praying will stop you.
You must turn your thoughts to Him, remember Roman’s 12:2? You must replace your thoughts with His. Now, it’s seems you have started that path which is great but you said you weren’t perfected yet. I guess you’re in big trouble then. There’s not much that can be done for you because you’re not perfected so God’s power is useless in you. I hope those last two statements sounded ridiculous to you because they are. Look at Isaiah 41:10 (NASB), “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Do you think God said this because it just sounded good? Do you think this applies only if you act right? Absolutely not! God is upholding you despite your fear, despite your imperfections! This scripture is written only so we would know it, not so that it happens if we believe it.
God’s goodness far surpasses our failures! Go back and read that again! He tells us that we shouldn’t fear because that isn’t the nature we have anymore. Look at 1 John 4:18 (NASB), “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” Your fear persists because you are afraid that if you sit around in fear you will somehow be punished for it. God isn’t going to punish you for fear, He wants to lead you away from it! Psalms 34:4 (NASB) says, “I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
He’s taken away the reason to fear and what you’re doing is fearing fear! I do not say these things to belittle you but to point out that it is a twisted way of thinking and that the devil is trying to use the scripture against you, just like he did with Jesus. Don’t swallow it! If scripture is of God then scripture is love. If scripture is love then remember 1 John 4:18, there is no reason to fear it. Scripture is for us and helps us, if it causes us to fear, it’s been manipulated in us.
Now, I will say this, if your fear is because you are doing sinful things or blatantly refusing the Truth and living for the world, then you have reason to fear. The answer then would be to repent and stop sinning. If it’s sin you are struggling with then put it before the Lord and tell Him you know it’s wrong and you need help to stop. He will be patient as you work toward it.
Fear is bondage, as I’m sure you know. Realize that the word is not just dos and don’ts, but it is for the believer, the way to build faith. Faith is our trust, our surety, our promise! Be sure as you read God’s word to you, not afraid! His word is a blessing to freedom, Him telling you to fear no more. Yes, let God’s word change and challenge you, but don’t let let it make you fear. Be perfected in His word, which is His love, and that perfecting will be an anxiety free mind!
Isaiah 59:1 (NASB)
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not so short that it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.