Tag Archive | Fear of the unknown

Psalm 118:5 ” In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid.”

For many, the bondage of fear stops us from being able to move forward with life.  We long to be liberated from the paralyzing emotions, but feel there’s little we can do to change.  But if we’ll take the time to study a few Scriptures, we’ll discover that God has already made the way for us.  It starts with this verse in Psalms.  When I cry out to the Lord, He answers by liberating me from the terror I’m going through…in other words, setting me free from its control.  And this freedom from fear can only be found in the truth of the Gospel.  For Jesus declares to us in John 8:32, ” If you hold to My teachings, you are really My disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  There can be freedom from doubt and fear, and it starts with the saving revelation of the Gospel Message.

II Samuel 22: 18-20 ” He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”

These verses come from a Song of Praise David sang to the Lord  after God had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies.  Out of David’s heart came thanksgiving for God’s steadfastness…even in the face of calamity.  And the deep-seated trust David had in God is not only evident here, but elsewhere when he declared, “I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)  David was able to turn fear into faith by keeping his eyes on God and not his situation.

John 14:1 ” Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.”

Later in this same Chapter, Jesus repeats these words again, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)  In both verses Jesus is telling us that we have control over doubt, fear, and confusion…”Do not allow (or permit)  your hearts (or minds) to be troubled. (confused and/or terrified) ” He wouldn’t be telling us to do something if it wasn’t possible for us to achieve it.  Now stop and read that last sentence again please!  Jesus is telling us that we all have the direct influence within us to rein in and exercise restraint over fear…but it’s contingent on our trust in Him.  In other words, a troubled heart is an unbelieving  heart.  So our success over doubt and fear lies largely in how we  build our faith in God.  And this confidence in Him only comes by reading the Bible and praying daily…for you can never fully trust a stranger.

Genesis 19: 24-26 ” Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah- from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus He overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities – and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Angels of the Lord had warned Lot and his family of the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah… and to flee and not look back.  But even with the warning…Lot’s wife still turned back towards what once had been her life and lost it.  Jesus also reminds us of this in Luke 17:32, when He told His disciples, “Don’t go back.”  So why are we so prone to do exactly what the Lord tells us not to?  When our fear of the unknown outweighs our faith in God…we go back.  And when anxiety supersedes what we know in our heart to be true, our mind goes back to familiar coping mechanisms…allowing fear to crowd out our confidence in God.

Matthew 10:27-28 ” What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.”

The work Jesus Christ did here on earth was not some clandestine secretive mission.   Rather, everything He said and did was pretty much done in the public eye.  Was He ridiculed and rejected for it…Yes.  Was He snubbed and scorned by the people…Yes.  Was He misunderstood and mocked often…Yes.  But Jesus persevered with boldness and authority…never backing down from fear of man.  These Scriptures encourage us to claim that same fearlessness and courage so as to not hide our light under a bushel.

Genesis 15:5 ” He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ “

Earlier in Genesis, God had promised Abraham and Sarah a child.  ” I will make you into a great nation.” (Genesis 12:2)  But like most of us…they allowed fear and doubt to overshadow their hope and expectations.  For in this verse, God led Abraham out into the cloudless night sky to observe the stars, (they estimate there are 1 Billion Trillion stars in our universe), and then reassured him that his offspring would be as numerous.   God does this for us also.  He can cause a Bible verse to suddenly become alive and take on new meaning…banishing doubt and bolstering our faith in Him.   He can strip away fear and strengthen our trust  by bringing into remembrance all the things He’s done for us in the past.  And just like Abraham, we too can look up into that starry sky and see God’s wonder, power, and majesty…and be assured of His love and faithfulness for us.

I Samuel 1:10 ” In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.”

Over the course of my career as a nurse I have witnessed death first hand.  I have comforted countless families as they maneuver through the  uncharted territory of fear, sorrow, and unspeakable anguish.  But I’ve also realized that it doesn’t get any easier with a lot of experience.  Death of a loved one is a heart crushing encounter full of very personal suffering.   And a few weeks ago, I still found myself asking, “Why Lord?”,  when a young wife and mother was taken from her two small boys and husband on Christmas Eve.  But it’s then, I must remind myself that just because my prayers weren’t answered like I wanted,  doesn’t mean that God somehow made a mistake.