Fear has swept across America and the world due to the Pandemic, worries over wars, and other issues. Every day we see people showing signs of being afraid, especially when they are outside of their homes. This is not true in many States of the USA, but it is surprising to see it when we travel. The Bible has much to say about fear!
Jesus said to the disciples in John 14:27:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”
Of course, there is a difference between honest concern and real fear. But all too often I find myself crossing the line into fear. This happened to me when my son was born and immediately called back to the hospital. I was fearful when I learned the news. As I returned from a business trip and headed to the hospital, some doctors explained his condition. They discovered that our son had a genetic condition that required a challenging diet[i]. We needed to begin a special formula for his food that was needed, or he had a chance of damaging his brain. We found out later that the head doctor we had for our son was a world-renowned expert in PKU. If we had not taken the job teaching at the university in that city, we might not have discovered our son’s condition. Sometimes God moves us for a good reason!
We worked hard to change from fear to concern! He is doing well today due to the help of several amazing doctors!
The Word Fear
The words fear or afraid occur over 300 times in the various translations of the Bible. In the King James Version (KJV), the phrase “Fear the Lord” appears in many of the 400 places. The phrase means, “Have strong respect for God.” Newer translations use the word “Do not be afraid” in the place of the word fear. Here are verses that show the difference: Jesus addressed the issue when He brought back to life the synagogue ruler’s daughter in Luke chapter 8:
Luke 8:50 (KJV) When Jesus heard of the daughter, He answered by saying “FEAR NOT: believe only, and she shall be made whole!” The NKJV reads, “Do not be afraid, only believe and she will be made well.” Either way, this was one of Jesus’ great miracles!
The Greek word used for FEAR in the New Testament is “phobos” which is also the root of the English word “phobia.” According to the Webster Collegiate dictionary[ii], phobia means
To be fearful, frightened ,and wanting to flee. In the extreme the Fear is exaggerated, inexplicable, and illogical…
We don’t recommend letting fear go this far!
Tips on Fighting Fear
- PERSPECTIVE: Step back from the crisis for a moment and, with the help of the Bible, friends and spouses, experts, online information, or other methods that work for you.
- PRAYER: Pray in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to fight against any attempt by the enemy to exaggerate your feelings. Ask for the Holy Spirt in you increase your FAITH that God has a way to overcome the situation.
- DECLARATIONS FROM THE BIBLE: Declarations are a powerful way to use Bible-based words to decree a favorable result. God’s promises in the Bible are the most powerful words you can say[iii]. Here are some examples:
- Lord Jesus, fill my heart with your peace according to your Word. John 14:27
- The Lord is my salvation, who shall I fear? Psalm 27:1
- The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. Hebrews 13:6
- God has not given us a spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7
- There is no fear in love (and I know Jesus loves me). 1 John 4:18
- Read aloud all of Psalms 91 often.
- In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:11
All of us at iworship423 will pray for you if you are in fear now!
Pastor G. Harold
[i] The condition is called PKU (Phenylketonuria). Dr. Asbjörn Følling, a Norwegian biochemist and physician, first published the description of phenylketonuria (PKU) in 1934 as a cause of intellectual disability. Ketones appear in the urine of an infant and that is how PKU is discovered in newborns in all modern hospitals. The condition is rare and is treated within the first 8 days.
[ii] I join other writers who use the older versions of the Webster dictionaries, in this case the Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary of 1971. The older versions seem to have more complete definitions, and give the origin of the words (e.g., phobos—from the Greek).
[iii] For more information and examples of Declarations, see the book by Steve Backlund and others, “Declarations: Unlocking your future” at the Bethel bookstore (see Links) or other places.
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