Every human being is living in a state of fear, but the nature of fear differs from individual to individual. Fear follows us from our childhood and it stays with us until our old age. But in the different phases of age the elements which drag us into fear keep changing. For example, a child fears an insect; a youth may be frightened about his future. A working person in his middle age fears that he may lose his job at the company or organization where he is employed. An old person often fears the thought of death. In every segment of life, different types of fear can take a person in its grip.
But what is fear? Fear is the name of suspicion or doubt that something negative will take place in our lives. If something happens in this way, what will then happen to my children? We think that no negative, frightening or tragic incident should take place in our life. But, if it should happen, then what will happen, and where will I stand?
It is very sad to say that we often live with such doubts and fears. When the worry exceeds above a certain limit then the situation and the circumstances become gloomy. And when the gloom totally takes control over us then we must understand that we have entered within the boundaries of fear. We become anxious, gloomy, and we suffer with fear. These incidents may not in fact take place, but we anticipate, we keep thinking about these incidents and situations and we allow these thoughts to make us vulnerable and discouraged.
What is unknown fear? It is a fear which is hiding or concealed in our unconscious mind, our inner-being. It persists in showing its dirty face and makes us sad and gloomy. Sometimes we don’t understand what causes our fear. The unknown fear is a hidden, secret, concealed emotion. It can be life-threatening; it can take one’s life. It can draw a person into the depths and darkness of the grave. Some people have acrophobia, the fear of heights; some people suffer from hydrophobia, the fear of water. Others fear going into public places or into a crowded place, and some have fear of darkness. Some people fear the future and some people fear death.
Fear is our greatest foe. Fear turns a weak and feeble enemy into a terrifying person to us. Goliath the giant was seen by the Israelite forces in the same manner. But young David saw him differently. The Israelite army was suffering from fear. As the enemy shouted, nobody was ready to face him. But when David saw Goliath, he was not frightened.
The emotion of fear is such a strong enemy that it can destroy our faith. Very few enemies like Goliath will come into our life to frighten us but fear can turn even our small situations into Goliaths, into giants. Let us think for a while how we human beings suffer from different fears in our life.
Fear of the future, fear of sickness, or fear of dependence.
Some people have fear that constantly consumes their thoughts. They fear about suffering with a disease in the near or distant future, or in the later part of their life. Will they be at the mercy of other people; must they be totally dependent on the other people? They are fearful about being a prisoner of their bed, to be bedridden. They also fear how their children will treat them. This fear unconsciously consumes a person like termites eat away at a building.
A fearful person does not thank God for his blessings and the faithfulness of God in the past, nor does he enjoy the life and blessings of the present. Fear of the future is consuming him. He paints a dark picture in his mind, fearful of his future, and with his pessimistic thinking he turns his bright present into total darkness.
The fear of old age.
Often when people have spent five decades of their life they start watching their future, their old age. They portray it in such a way that they torture themselves mentally. Only God knows how their future time will be spent. The key to our future is in the hands of God. It is fear in the unconscious mind of man which dries up his energies and limits his activity. His spiritual life is also affected in a negative way. But when we have absolute trust in the Lord Jesus Christ we can anticipate a bright future, a future full of hope. God has promised us this:
“And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:4).
The fear of poverty.
Some people are always surrounded by the fear that the blessings they have received will be lost. The business community often thinks on these lines: “If something goes wrong with the business community, if there is inflation then commodities would be expensive; or, if I would not be able to work and make money then how would I survive?” With these thoughts such people keeps on saving money, but he does not spend this money on himself or on others.
Yes, there is wisdom in saving some money in our youth for our old age. But the point is this: The fear of becoming poor or losing our blessings should not take hold of us. Remember! God takes care of us continuously. He does take care and He will take care of us.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1Peter 5:7).
The fear of death.
This fear is very popular, a favorite fear of every human being. Everybody thinks about it and talks about it. It is written in the Holy Word of God. There is:
“A time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2).
God has fixed the limits of life for every human being. Man cannot cross that line. Death is a universal reality. It is an unchangeable reality and it can be a very frightening reality. The prophet David writes,
“Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).
For God’s people, death is a true, living, and blessed hope that they will join the Lord in heaven and live in His fellowship and presence for evermore. The Word of God greatly comforts us:
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).
If we have the shield of faith and do not take it up to fight against our fears then our fears overtake us. Once a believer is trapped in the snare of fear then he suffers a lot. Please remember the following things with regard to fear:
a) Fear is a terrible weapon of Satan which he uses against believers.
b) Fear gives birth to hopelessness and, consequently, a believer adopts and welcomes separation, aloofness from other believers, friends, kinsmen—his own family—even though he may physically live with them.
c) Fear carries away people toward mental and psychological disorders. A deep and severe fear can become the source of chronic depression. People start using the sleeping pills, the brain becomes sleepy and senseless, and the ability to think clearly is badly affected.
d) Fear weakens a believer physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our mind controls our body, if we are physically strong, in better shape, then the spiritual results will be much better. If we are physically, psychologically, and mentally sick and weak then we cannot perform well.
e) Fear drains our energy. It carries us into a dark, narrow, and closed street where we lose our hope and go deep down in hopelessness.
My dear friend, just think for a while: Which fear is aroused in your inner-being? You know yourself well. You can analyze your fear with honesty. You can plead unto the Lord for its cure and remedy. Basically there are three types of fear in human beings:
· In childhood the fear of darkness.
· In youth the fear of future.
· In old age the fear of death.
In the above three, there is a common factor: Man cannot see into the future. When we talk about walking by faith, we acknowledge that we don’t see anything with our physical eyes. The apostle Paul writes;
“…for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
To overcome every type of fear and for its remedy, we must fix our eyes upon the Originator and Perfector of our faith, our Lord Jesus Christ. We must keep in our mind his beautiful and glorious promises. If you are frightened by the darkness, remember what Jesus said;
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
If you are frightened by your tomorrow, your future, Jesus promised;
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34).
He holds our tomorrows; if you are frightened by death, the Lord Jesus Christ clearly and vividly said;
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
That is why you must fix your eyes upon Jesus, read the Word of God daily, have fellowship with believers, and ask help from God. Certainly He will deliver you from all kinds of invisible and unknown fears.