Fear. It’s an emotional response that is set off by a threat. All of us deal with fear over many different situations that confront us in a given day. Threats for our personal safety. Threats to our health. Threats to our livelihood. The list can go on and on. Some set off a minimal response with our emotions, while other situations that we are confronted with, set off a much larger emotional response, maybe resulting in a large amount of anxiety or panic, or maybe resulting in the reaction to freeze.
Tonight in our college Lifegroup, we talked about the concept of fear, and why it holds such a motivating power for many of us. We talked specifically on what motivates us to work so hard in school and classes. Is it because we want to learn, or how a desire for knowledge, or is it something deeper. Will our parents punish us by not doing well in school? Will we be able to pursue the career we want to in the future if we don’t get the GPA that meets the requirements for the program we want to get into?
For those of you reading this, that are not in school, maybe you try your hardest at work, to get the best raise you can, or to avoid the fear of losing your job for not performing to the best of your ability. Or maybe you try to be that helicopter parent, for fear that you may screw up your child or let them down if you aren’t there to prevent every single hurt or protect them from anything that may harm them. Or maybe you try be the best spouse or friend, so you don’t wind up alone. We all live with fears of rejection, fears of failure, and fears of getting hurt.
This past week, while reading Chapter 5 in The Story, there’s a verse that I keep coming back to. You can find it on page 61, where Moses says to the Israelites, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” All week I have been thinking about this verse and the concept of fear. And I just could’t seem to make it click.
Our God is a loving God. A God who grants us so much grace and whose love for us never changes, despite our sinful, rotten, human nature. But is also a God who is very powerful. Who holds all the power and authority here on this earth. Whose love holds the power to cast out those fears that you and I have. Because of this, we should fear God. Not because we are scared of what He could do, but because we are reverent of that power that He holds. I think the verse that summed it up for me this week can be found in 1 John 4:18, where it talks about how perfect love casts out fear.
God’s love for us is perfect, and his power is bigger than any struggle or fear that we are facing, and that love for us has the ability to cast away those fears. So this week, when you are facing any fear, great or small, know that God’s love for you is bigger than any of those fears, and has the ability to drive those fears away.