2 Corinthians 7:5 – “For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
When I read the above text in my devotion time recently I was thrown aback. Paul experienced intense fear in the face of adversity. I was shocked by that. My past looking at Paul’s life, his missionary work, and his writings has never left me with any impression of fear’s existence in his life. I guess I must have skimmed over 2 Corinthians 7:5 because he says it plainly, “I was afraid!”
I’ve heard that we are only born with two innate fears (the fear of falling and of loud sounds) and that every other fear is learned. Fear is often our response to any adverse situation. We fear the dark, we fear drowning, we fear cancer. Fear often becomes a prison. This even takes place in the life of believers sometimes. I have seen people succumb to fear of what might happen based on their past experiences. Here are a couple of truths I have observed about fear:
Fear is life-threatening.
Shokoi Yokoi was a Japanese soldier during World War II. He was so afraid of being captured by American forces that he ran into the jungles to hide. Even after reading a pamphlet declaring the end of the war that was dropped from an airplane into the jungles, Yokoi would remain hidden in a cave for 25 years. He created his own prison of fear. And it stole his life!
Fear keeps you from living. Sure, you may be walking and breathing. But you are not really living because of the fear that has gripped your heart. Some fear death. Some fear eternity. Some fear what people are thinking. Some fear being alone. Fear is sucking the life out of those bound by it.
Fear is also a liar.
Satan is the father of all lies. Fear is one of those lies he loves to use against humanity. Fear keeps people from asking for forgiveness, confessing their wrongs, forgiving others, trusting people because they have experienced betrayal. I have seen people who had bad relationships with their fathers struggle to believe that the Heavenly Father will be enough for them because of the fear from their past experiences. Fear is a liar!
Fear is overcome by Christ.
Even though it can drain your life and lie to your mind, fear is futile when it tries to fight against Jesus. The Lord spoke to Joshua, “Be not afraid for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest!” His presence gives us victory over our fear. David said in Psalm 23, “I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me!” Knowing that He is present – with us – at all times gives us an assurance when fear tries to overwhelm us. Also we are told in 1 John that perfect love casts out fear. The simple explanation of that verse is this: Christ showed that He loves us more than anything when He died on the cross. He also told us that He is working everything out for our good because of His love. Therefore, we ought to trust our future to Him, knowing His love has our best interest at heart. He will work it all out; don’t fear!
His presence, His power, and His perfect love give us the victory over fear. I am praying for your victory today!