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Do not be afraid

Towards the words of Jesus

When we have lost peace in our lives...we have lost something that God wants to give us.

Opposite fear and worry

I wonder what you would say was the opposite of fear and worry? Think about it for a moment. If we want to be free of the heavy burden of fears and worries what do we want instead?

In some instances you want a practical solution, but many things we worry about can have little foundation. One day we are living happily with a set of circumstances but the next we think negative thoughts about where all this is leading and worry looms large. What do we want instead? I think peace and faith. We need peace to overcome worry.

At the last supper Jesus took the opportunity to go over some of the most important things that he wanted to make sure his disciples had grasped before he would be with them no more. “I’ve been telling you these things for three years now but I just want to summarise to make sure you have got it” One of the things he said (John 14 v27) is that he would leave his peace. “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” he went on to say. One of the segments of the fruit of the Spirit which every Christian has and should exercise is peace. (Galatians 5 v22)

So when we have lost peace in our lives and we are full of fear and worry we have lost something that God wants to give us and we know that God gives good things (Matthew 7 v11)

A negative thought

Let’s look at a Bible passage where there is no peace. At the beginning of the story there isn’t really even a problem but fear is given a small foothold by a negative thought planted and in no time things spiral out of control to a place of massive fear and dread. The story I am thinking of I that of Exodus chapter 1. Take time to read it through if you can.

Jacob’s family were brought to Egypt by Joseph, his son, who was being a great blessing to that nation. He had saved them in a terrible drought. As time went by this family grew to be a people group and a small nation and the Egyptians forgot how they came to be living in their country anyway. The Israelites were quietly growing and minding their own business—they weren’t a problem to the Egyptians—more likely the Egyptians were benefiting from their presence as God blessed the hosts because of their guests.

But then a new king comes along and the question comes up, “How come these people are living here?” This a perfectly acceptable question and there is a perfectly acceptable and reasonable answer but that doesn’t quite surface and someone suggests a possible problem, “just suppose they turn against us…” Suddenly a whiff of fear hovers in the air. A worry has been planted.



Possible scenarios of disaster fill your mind when the usual flow and familiar pattern of life are interrupted.





What if...?

I wonder how many of your fears have started in this way. Possible scenarios of disaster fill your mind when the usual flow and familiar pattern of life are interrupted. The question of ‘what if…?’ or ‘just suppose…?’ arises. This is not God’s peace. This is a small crack where the devil will try to make a foot-hold—fear is one of his tools. Our thoughts may start from a perfectly reasonable platform of questioning and thinking about the future, just as in our Bible story, “why is this situation the way it is?” There is nothing wrong with asking that. But we need to identify this as a place where we may be tempted to leave the road of peace. If we are in a state of worry or fear prayerfully ask God to show you where your thought diverted from healthy thinking and questioning, to fear. In our Bible story there was an element of truth in the thought process. There were a lot of Israelites. They were established in their place of living. They were jolly near by. Ask God to show you the truth of what you are thinking and separate that from the lies of “what if…”

This is a first stage that we need to learn to identify. In our normal flow of life it is a good strategy of the Christian to learn to take hold of these types of fear and pray through each one asking God to show us the measure of truth and what is distorted in each thought.

But my guess is that most who choose to read carefully and article on fear and worry may have passed this point in at least one area of life. I have only good intentions in offering some Christian perspective in your difficult place but no article and good intentions will replace a godly counsellor if professional help is what you need. So may I suggest that you find a friend or doctor to discuss whether you need more help. May I offer this as a starting point to think from. If your fear or dread is stopping you from living a ‘normal’ life as you would like to live it, or if you are unable to do a particular ‘something’ because of a fear about that thing, you may be in a position to seek one-to-one help from a godly counsellor.

Let’s move on to the second and final step in our story I want to raise.

The best and worst possibilities

The king has identified a potential threat to his peace. Thoughts of fear have now filled his horizon. How to stop the Israelites turning against him if war erupts with a neighbour? To my untrained mind there seem to be two possibilities: either make jolly sure the Israelites are your friends, or treat them so badly that they can’t get themselves together to turn against you. These, I would suggest, were the best and worst possibilities—a happy strategy, or spiral down. It is always a dangerous thing to try to generalise as I don’t know what the specifics of your fears are, but the nature of fear is that it will steer us to the worst out come if we don’t tackle it with prayerful effort. For the Egyptian king, he took the downward spiral and went to a place where he and his people came to dread the Israelites (end verse 12) and ultimately, through the plagues, to death in their country (Exodus 12 v24). His action following his fear took him to the worst possible place.

Let us not make mountains out of mole hills but let us also be honest about how much our fears affect our lives.

Going round?

Let me say again, I am looking at dealing with every-day fears that have not reached the point of your needing specific help from a professional. Let us not make mountains out of mole hills but let us also be honest about how much our fears affect our lives. People are very good at adapting and we accommodate our fears by going round them. If you have adjusted your life to accommodate a fear then let me urge you to seek God about facing it. Satan does not want us to identify these fears. It is his business to make our lives difficult and he doesn’t want us to “loose the chains that bind” us. He doesn’t want us to live in freedom. Fear is one of his best chains.


Let us go over once again the two stages I have raised from our Bible story.

Learn to identify the first moments of fearful thoughts and pray through each one asking God to show you the measure of truth and expose the distorted lies in each thought.

Two ways exist to deal with those thoughts. The wrong one is to entertain them and act on that fear like the King of Egypt did. The right one is to choose to believe Jesus that he has left his peace for us and He is more than capable of meeting all our needs.

Pray to God now about any fears that you know you have and then ask God to begin to deal with any that you do not yet realise you have.

Fearful thoughts may include the words “always” or “never”

Fearful thoughts may include certainties that bad things will happen and good things will not happen.

Fearful thoughts may insist that you will not be able to cope with something or that you will be overwhelmed.

Fearful thoughts can affect your physical body making you feel unwell or ‘low’.

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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.