I know we are familiar with this saying as it relates to extreme athletes that maybe should have more fear about what they are attempting to do, but every one of us struggles with some form of fear every day. May I be bold and say that it doesn’t have to be that way?
There are many themes in the Bible that seem to reoccur throughout the entire book. The theme of, “No fear” resonates from Genesis to Revelation. It must be because even the bravest of us have underlying fear. Joshua was one of the mightiest warriors in the Bible, in fact some of his military strategies are still used to this day, however God had to tell him to be strong and courageous over and over.
A verse that is a favorite with many people is I Timothy 1:7 that says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Did you catch that? The opposite of fear is power or in another word, strength. This strength doesn’t come from ourselves though, it comes from God. We do have to believe that He gives us this strength and also receive it. In this verse power is also linked with love, there is so much strength in the love of God.
One of the problems with fear is that it doesn’t just come from within ourselves, we have a very active enemy who is throwing fear at us all day long. In the book of Nehemiah in the Bible, the Jewish exiles had returned to Jerusalem and were trying to rebuild. The trouble was that they had a lot of opposition to what they were trying to do. In Nehemiah 6:8-9, Nehemiah answers some of his accusers, “‘Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.’ They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.'” Do you see what they were doing? The enemies were trying to weaken him with fear.
All of us know that feeling. When fear comes at us suddenly, it can feel like all the strength leaves our bodies, particularly our arms and hands. However, God can strengthen us. Zephaniah, another book in the Bible, says “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.” (Zephaniah 3:16-17) The thing we have to remember is that when fear comes at us, we need to pray for help quickly.
I am learning to not let the fear take hold of me and knock me down, but to cry out for help to God. He is always ready to come to our rescue and give us a sound mind to figure out what the truth about the fear is. Most of the time I find that the fear is not even real, it just appears real. Another verse that I love is Proverbs 31:17b, “Her arms are strong for her tasks.” Just like He did for Nehemiah, God will make our arms strong for the tasks He gives us each day. So we can wake up in the morning and proclaim, “No fear!”
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17