Monday, January 1, 2024

Ruled by Fear - Martin Wiles

Wishing all our readers a Happy New Year. 

ruled by fear
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

Sleep in the backyard in a tent? And in the dark? At the time, Fred was ruled by fear of darkness.

Like many children, Fred feared the dark. His parents had talked to him, telling him nothing existed in the dark that didn’t in the light. Even as a youngster, he knew that wasn’t true. What about all those dangerous animals he never saw in the daylight? Try as he might, Fred couldn’t shake the fear.

Then, one day at school, Rad suggested a camping adventure in his backyard. The thought of sleeping in a tent at night terrified Fred—even if it was only in Rad’s backyard. Not wanting to admit his fear to my friend and risk him telling their friends, Fred agreed.

The experience was worse than Fred imagined. Without divulging his fear, Fred convinced Rad to leave a light on in the bathroom to see how to get to the facilities should they need to use them during the night. Rad agreed. However, Rad had an evil sister who somehow discerned Fred’s fear and ensured she extinguished the light before going to bed. Fred didn’t sleep a wink. His imagination inflated, and he heard every noise. By the time the first rays of daylight peeped over the horizon, he was a nervous wreck.

I’ve struggled with this and other fears myself. Darkness wasn’t my friend when I was younger, either. Dad tried to help me defeat it by sending me into the backyard alone. It didn’t work. Now a senior adult, I’m still a little nervous when confronting the darkness without some light.

Although God has instilled in us a healthy sense of fear, He doesn’t expect it to lead to unhealthy emotional reactions. Avoiding a dangerous neighborhood is just good sense. Stepping into the path of an oncoming semi and thinking God will stop it isn’t. God gives us the wisdom to avoid dangerous situations through the instilled emotion of fear. We depend on Him to protect us from those beyond our control. And He’s promised He would.

Conquering unreasonable fears starts when we admit to God that we have them. Once we’ve done that, we can lean on Him for strength to face and overcome them. 

Father, I ask you to deliver me from unreasonable fears.  

Tweetable: What fears rule your life? 

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