I wonder if I raised a few eyebrows with today’s title?
No, I am not going to write about the “F” word that probably springs to mind first (especially when stubbing one’s toe). I am going to write about another “bad” four letter word that begins with “F”, and that is “Fear”.
While I intensely dislike hearing the foul “F” word, I hate feeling the “F” word of “Fear”.
(I am not referring to the “fear of the Lord” which is the holy awe and reverence that we should have for God.)
It seems like fear has ruled, controlled, affected my life, and made me feel powerless ever since I was a very young child.
The marital unhappiness of my parents and my mother’s subsequent depression left me fearful of what would happen to my family and to my Mom.
When I was very young, I suffered a few severe respiratory infections. The doctor made house calls at that time, and she would come on a regular basis to give me injections. I absolutely HATED those needles and I can remember one time where they had to chase me around the table before they could grab me. I remember another time I was so filled with fear that I had to vomit into a potty. I developed a real fear of needles after that and immunization time at school was pure torture for me. The smell of rubbing alcohol can still make my stomach clench. (But I became a nurse – figure that one out! LOL)
When I was around 11 years old, I was attacked by a young man when my youngest sister and I were playing in the bush behind our house. While he only managed to carry me off a few feet before I got away, the experience was absolutely terrifying and left me filled with fear about men and literally scared of my shadow.
I would be filled with fear if I was late for school. I experienced fear when I had to walk into the cafeteria by myself.
I was afraid of disappointing and/or angering my parents, my relatives, my teachers, my boyfriends, my boss, my co-workers, my husband, my pastor, and my church. And I was very afraid of not pleasing God.
I have been afraid that I laugh too loud; that I say stupid things and appear a fool; that I am not smart enough; not pretty enough; not thin enough.
Financial constraints have been a very large aspect of my life so there have been many times when I have been filled with fear about how to pay bills or how to purchase necessary items.
The stress caused by all of this fear since the time I was very small has had very detrimental affects on me. I have developed chronic physical health issues, cancer, and mental health issues such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, panic attacks, and depression.
So you can see why I hate the “F” word of “Fear”.
Fear paralyzes. Fear controls. Fear inhibits. Fear can lead to despair which can lead to taking desperate measures. Fear stunts growth – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Fear can destroy. Fear sucks!!
The apostle Paul tells us that fear does not come from God.
2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
So where does fear come from?
The first mention of the emotion of fear in the Bible was after Adam and Eve had disobeyed God by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I am naked, and I hid myself.
I find it interesting to note that fear was unknown before there was knowledge of evil. Evil brings fear. When Adam and Eve had committed evil, and knew that they had committed evil, they were filled with fear. Adam had lost the covering of glory that God had given to him. Adam saw himself as he was -naked, helpless, shameful, disobedient – and this filled him with fear.
Disobeying God is sin. Fear is a consequence of sin. The world has been filled with both sin and fear ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
Did you know that in the King James Bible, the word “fear” is mentioned 400 times and “afraid” is used 193 times? That’s a whole lot of “fear factor” happening!
But there is hope! There is a way to overcome fear and that way is through faith in Jesus Christ because he is the Son of God.
Rom 8:15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!
When we believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are freed from the fear of death.
Heb 2:14,15 Since then the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same; that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death (that is, the Devil), and deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
No matter what the circumstances or situation, we don’t need to fear when we have Jesus in our lives.
While walking on storm tossed waters, Jesus told the disciples that they did not need to be afraid because of who he was.
Mat 14:27 But instantly Jesus spoke to them, and said, “There is no danger; it is I; do not be afraid.” (WNT)
With Jesus by our side, we don’t need to fear what others think about us or what they may say or do to us.
Heb 13:6 so that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.”
God loves us. Jesus loves us. When we begin to understand the great love that they have for us, we can begin to let go of the fear, knowing and trusting that we are safe in their love.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.
Mar 5:36 … Jesus said … Do not be afraid, only believe.