I’m running into more and more people of all ages who are gripped with fear. My two-year old grandson has become afraid of his room. He fears someone or something in there at night. It angers me that fear torments this sweet little boy at all let alone at such a young age.
Then there is a sixty-six year old woman who continually shares her fear with me. She is so afraid, that panic attacks and anxiety have become a way of life. It determines whether or not she goes anywhere everyday, it controls her. I have friends who have been tormented with fear for years. Even during counseling with different women fear is almost always somewhere in the mix. Everywhere I turn, someone is gripped with fear.
What are we so afraid of? I think the better question is what aren’t we afraid of? I tried to find an approximate number of fears and phobias, the answers ranged from 590 documented phobias to thousands. I could try to list some but it would be a waste of time. The more important thing to look at is what can we do about fear?
God knew we would have problems with fear when He inspired man to write the Bible. There are enough scriptures on fear for each day of the year. For me it was very helpful to learn some of those scriptures. I often quoted 2 Tim 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and a sound mind”. Learning those scriptures helped me realize that fear is not something that God wants us to be controlled by. The more I studied about fear, the more I realized that we have the power to take control of our thoughts and not be bullied by the stronghold called fear.
Every thought that pops into our mind is not truth. It has long been thought that talking to yourself meant you are crazy. I’m convinced that if some of us don’t start talking to ourselves we will go crazy. Sometimes we need to recognize the lies that pop into our minds and counter them with truth
I was so terrified of dying after my massive pulmonary embolism that I dealt with fear and anxiety for months. There was a real fear of dying there until I decided that the worst thing that could happen to me was that I would die and go to Heaven and be with Jesus. I made my committment to Him years ago, so I knew where I would go. Reminding myself of those things has helped me to settle my fear of death.
During other moments of fear in my life (there have been many) since that time, I have had to “cast down imaginations”. Soon as a fear surfaces, refusing to let it get a foothold is key. The moment we let those thoughts in, we give them life. The more we dwell on them the stronger they become. Soon fear is the one in control.
We were created with a will, that means we have a choice as to what we allow our minds to think on. We may lack self-control and discipline over our thoughts but it does not have to be that way. The more we practice taking our thoughts captive the more freedom we will find. We will face fear in life, that is inevitable but we don’t have to be controlled by it.
Finally, it is important to remember that we are never alone in our times of fear. God is with us, He will give us the strength to face and overcome all our fears. I prayed for my little grandson before he went to sleep the other night, I said “Gracen Jesus will be with you and he will help you”, he looked up at me and said “He will help you too”. I am so thankful at two years old that he is being taught something that many adults have never learned.