What are you afraid of?

What are your fears?

We all have them. It’s part of being human. It’s part of having a heart and mind.

Some fears are there to protect us from danger. Like the fear of heights. I am afraid of heights…and it’s not because I have been hurt before by it, but rather because I know what can happen if I fall from a high place. I would go splat! That is a fear that keeps me from danger.

However, if I allow it to, it can become a fear that grips and controls me, causing me to miss out on fun experiences, like going on roller coasters. So while I do have that fear, I still choose to go on roller coasters (most of them anyway).

That is a small example of course…there’s nothing wrong with not going on a roller coaster. Some have chosen to not do that because of their fear of heights. And that is completely fine.

The real question is, what fears do we have that control us and cause us to miss out on what’s really important and valuable in this life? What fears do we have that can impact us far beyond something like going on a roller coaster or not?

The truth is, fear is very powerful

To act like fear isn’t powerful is to be naive. To be naive toward that truth is to not properly guard against fear having too much control in your life. And to not properly guard against fear having too much control is to live a life based on fear.

Nobody wants that. We do not want to live a life afraid to try or do things that are bigger than our self. We want to get to the end of our life and be able to look back and see the things we were able to do or be a part, not the things we missed out on because of fear.

Yet, how often do we see people who are living a life based on fear? A life of just surviving instead of thriving.

How often do we live our own life based on fear?

If I’m being really honest, I have to admit that I have some pretty big fears that can control me.

Fear that what happened to me before will happen again…that the rejection I experienced in multiple areas of my life before could happen again.

Fear that since I don’t get to see my children every day, they will stop loving me or that I won’t be able to be a good father to them.

Fear that my financial burdens and difficulties of the past few years will never end…that I won’t have a job that pays me beyond the ability to just get by and survive another day or week.

Fear that I will make a major mistake of some kind, or that I won’t make the right decision in a big moment and it will have negative effects on myself or those I love.

Fear that my life won’t make a difference, that I am not good enough, that I’m not strong enough, etc etc etc…

Fear is powerful

But…

It’s not as powerful as love. Love, real honest love…not just the emotion based feeling of love that can come and go, but rather the choice and commitment and strength of real love…is more powerful than fear. That kind of love can overcome fear. It can take away the strength of fear. It can even give us the strength to not let fear take control.

It’s not as powerful as faith. Faith that good still overcomes bad. That though there is pain and heartache, there will also be mending and healing for those who experience the pain and heartache. That everything we endure will work to make us stronger. That kind of faith gives us the conviction and strong foundation we need to endure the hard times and not let fear win.

It’s not as powerful as God. Ultimately, this is where it all must begin. With God. Because he is bigger than us, stronger than us, and more powerful than even the worst and strongest of fears.

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8)

God is love, and to know God is to know love. A love that is beyond the emotional kind of love that many of us have been hurt by before…a love that casts out all fear. A perfect love. A sacrificial, steadfast, never-ending, full of grace and mercy, unconditional, and honestly unbelievable at times kind of love.

That kind of love is bigger than fear, and even casts out fear.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

When we know that God loves us that much, and that the love he shows us and gives to us is so much different from the worldly kind of love that we are so easily hurt by, we will begin to trust him. That is where faith comes in…trusting him for what our life holds. Trusting him to lead and guide us through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of this journey we are on.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Fear is powerful, but not as powerful as love, as faith…it is not as powerful as God

The enemy wants to bring fear into our life, because he knows the power of fear. He wants to rob us of our love and faith, to take our joy, to lie to us and destroy our lives by causing us to listen to and live by fear.

…and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44…speaking about the devil)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10…again speaking of our enemy the devil)

Fear is powerful, but not as powerful as God

Remember, when fear begins to creep in and tries to take some control in your heart and mind…that is the enemy at work. God does not work through fear, the enemy does. It won’t always be easy in those moments, but fight to keep your focus on God and look to him. Because he is more powerful than fear, and he has not given us a spirit of fear, rather he gives us a spirit of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).