12 women bared their souls and shared their greatest fears with us.
I am scared that I will never meet someone and have the family of my own that I’ve wanted since before I can remember. And snakes! Betrayal is my biggest fear. I fear not having an impact on anyone before I die. I am afraid of having to handle all the adult responsibilities of my life alone. My biggest fear is never finding true love and being alone. I am scared to death of being raped. I am terrified of being rejected in everything from my love life to witnessing. I am afraid of getting old – aging is the worst thing in the world to me. I am fearful that something bad will happen to my child. I am afraid I will never have a healthy relationship. I am always scared that people are judging me. I am scared I will lose my job and not be able to pay bills….and of another terrorist attack.
What is fear?
Fear can be bad or good. It can be either beneficial or detrimental. It all depends on whether fear advises you or controls you.
Fear is usually associated with pain. When we have been hurt by something or know we could be hurt by something, we fear it. This is why people fear heights and bungee jumping and terrorist attacks. They have the potential to cause great pain. Fear of being burned keeps us from placing our hand on a hot burner. Fear of the pain from a snake bite keeps us far away from dangerous snakes. But fear can paralyze us and keep us from good things. Fear of interacting with different cultures can keep us from serving on a mission trip. Fear of heartbreak can keep us from giving a relationship a chance.
Where does fear come from?
There are two sources of fear.
Fleshly fear comes from the brain, to warn us against harmful behavior. The very center of the brain, called the amygdala, is the place where fear originates. The amygdala seems to respond to severe traumas with an un-erasable fear response. It seems to be genetically different and “wired” for higher levels of fear in some individuals than in others. So, certain people are naturally more prone to fear. Others, often known as dare-devils or adrenaline junkies, have far too little fear. But whatever the amount, every person struggles with natural fears from time to time.
Spiritual fear, however, isn’t about your brain chemistry. Spiritual fear comes from Satan. This kind of fear uses lies and deception to prevent us from trusting God. Anything that we believe that causes us to be paralyzed by fear rather than obeying God, is a lie from Satan. Often these fears are intertwined. A natural fear is blown out of proportion into a paralyzing fear by the lie of Satan. Our sinful flesh works together with the lies of Satan to prevent us from trusting and obeying God. Such fear prevents us from participating in Kingdom work.
What does God say about fear?
Fear is a constant theme throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Israelites often feared their enemies because they did not trust God to deliver them. Over and over, God reassured his people that they had nothing to fear – He was their God and He was in control. 33 times in Scripture God’s people are told to “fear not.”
“Fear not….I am your shield.” Genesis 15:1 “Fear not, for I am with you.” Genesis 26:24 “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Exodus 14:13 “Fear not; do not be dismayed.” 1 Chronicles 22:13 “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance… He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4 “Fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Isaiah 40:9-10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:13 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not, for I am with you.” Isaiah 43:5 “Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not.” Isaiah 44:2 “Fear not, nor be afraid.” Isaiah 44:8 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed.” Isaiah 54:4 “Then fear not….for behold, I will save you from far away.” Jeremiah 30:10 “Fear not, declares the Lord, for I am with you.” Jeremiah 46:28 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel… your words have been heard.” Daniel 10:12 “Fear not, be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things!” Joel 2:21 “My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.” Haggai 2:5 “Fear not, but let your hands be strong.” Zechariah 8:13 “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31 ““Fear not, behold, your king is coming.” John 12:15 “Fear not, I am the first and the last.” Revelation 1:17
Fleshly fears – are those that make rational sense to be afraid of. The people of Israel were afraid of armies that were bigger and stronger than them. Makes total sense….in human terms. Our natural fears also make sense in human terms …. But human terms don’t matter. When God calls us act, to trust, to obey, we must lay down our fears and obey Him. These fears aren’t sin, unless they keep us from obeying God. “Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” 1 Chronicles 28:20
I am scared to death of being raped – “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
I am fearful that something bad will happen to my child – “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
I am scared I will lose my job and not be able to pay bills – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
Spiritual Fear – are those fears that come from believing the lies of Satan. These fears are a slap in the face to God. He is our Creator, Lord and Savior. He is all powerful. He loves us. To fear singleness or death or pain or aging is to blatantly tell God that we do not trust His plan for our lives, we do not trust God’s love for us. Confess it, repent and choose moment by moment to trust God.
I am scared that I will never meet someone and have the family of my own – He says, “I know the plans I have for you.” Jer. 29:11
I fear not having an impact on anyone before I die – “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6
I am terrified of being rejected – “Fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their reviling.” Is. 51:7
I am afraid of getting old – “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” Prov. 16:31
I am scared that no one will love me – He says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name. You are mine.” Is. 43:1
How should we handle fear?
First, we must realize that paralyzing fear is not of God. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Second, overcome fear-producing lies with truth. God is good. (Psalm 119:68, 136:1) God loves you and desires his best for you. (Romans 8:32, 38-39) You are complete and accepted in Christ. (Eph. 1:4-6) God is enough. (Psalm 23:1) God can be trusted. (Isaiah 28:16)
“Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.” 1 Chronicles 22:13 Being strong and courageous does not mean I am fearless or recklessly unafraid of danger. It means that I trust God in spite of very real and present dangers. I trust God more than I fear anything made by God.
Be unafraid, not because there is nothing to fear, but because the God of heaven and earth is in control.