I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NLT
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt comforted the American people with those words in his first inaugural address. And he needed to. Several years before, the stock market had crashed, hundreds of banks had closed, huge amounts of money were lost, and America found herself in the throes of the Great Depression. Many feared for the future of the country as well as the future of their lives. While America would eventually emerge more stable than before, it would take years for that to happen. Fear needed to go so confidence could take over.
Roosevelt instituted many programs that eliminated most people’s fears, but those same programs couldn’t keep future fears from arising. The nature of wars changed. No longer are they fought the traditional way with enemy facing enemy. The Vietnam War and terrorism changed their faces.
Along with others, I too have faced fears: finances, relationships, death, unemployment, education, crime. The psalmist David wasn’t unaccustomed to fear either. As a young shepherd boy, he faced wild animals who hungered for his sheep. Later, he faced the wrath of a jealous king. He even ran in fear from one of his sons who carried out a coup against him.
Fear is a natural emotion God has implanted in the human psyche. Without it, we would walk into dangerous situations rather than run from them. Instead, we exercise the fight or flight syndrome. When danger affronts us, we fight it or run from it. Along with emotion, God gave us wisdom. Choosing to confront a mother bear with cubs is foolish. Flight is the right approach.
Allowing fear to control us is a different story and not something God intends. David prayed, and God freed him from all his fears. He still experienced the emotion, but he didn’t live in a state of fear.
Regardless of what my circumstances are—and what fears they arouse in me, giving them to God ushers in a peace that’s beyond my comprehension. Somehow, I know He’s got the problem, along with the solution. Fear runs scared and with it go worry and anxiety. Peace settles in, and I know God is in control.
God doesn’t want you to live in a state of fear. Give your fears to Him. He’ll scare them away.
Tweetable: Are your fears controlling you?
Prayer: Father, we thank You that no fear is bigger than Your ability to replace it with peace.