Love and money ‘make the world go ‘round.’ Or so it used to be said. But this year, fear stopped the world!
- Does that mean fear is more powerful than love and money?
- Should we fear ‘fear’ … is it all-powerful?
- What does God say in the scriptures on fear?
- Is there such a thing as good fear … and bad fear?
Our all-powerful, loving God designed us with the life-preserving capacity for fear. So sometimes fear is a right response. Its God-given role is diverting us from danger and directing us to life. But God’s purpose for fear is as a ‘red flag,’ not as a fuel source.
One of the most well-known scriptures on fear is:
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 NKJV)
A spirit of fear usurps control of our lives, directing our actions, influencing our choices and eating away at our health. Ultimately, a spirit of fear destroys our lives. It is not of God.
We’re watching the spirit of fear run our world right now. It’s power is impressive. We’ve seen fear shut down international commerce, destroy businesses, isolate families from loved ones, and topple idols of sports and church. The spirit of fear is a fraudulent facsimile of God’s design, an evil force from our enemy Satan, whose sole purpose is destruction.
Jesus told us:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10:10a ESV)
…BUT He didn’t stop there! He continued with this surpassing truth:
I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10b ESV)
You see, while Satan’s counterfeit of fear is powerful, it is not all-powerful. God is still sovereign; He is still on the throne, and Jesus, the Truth, sets us free (John 8:32).
In contrast to the evil spirit of fear, God has given us a holy spirit of power, love and sound judgment! Choosing to live in the gift of God’s spirit annihilates Satan’s deceptions every time. We do not need to live in fear. We must not live in fear! God has called us to a much higher purpose.
We can resist the temptations of fear. Fear lures us to clutch at control – refusing to trust in God or freeze in place – relinquishing our freedom to choose. Neither response honors God as the Sovereign ruler who brings victory. Neither response ushers us into the abundant life Jesus died to give us. Neither response utilizes the gifts God entrusts to us!
There are literally hundreds of Scriptures on fear, which show us the way to shalom…completeness, unity, and peace. THAT is our destiny, the desire of God for each of our lives. Understanding how fear works helps us rise to the high calling of God.
Destructive fear travels with some vile cronies: worry, uncertainty, and insecurity. This ghastly gang aims to reduce us to animalistic behavior: fight or flight. But God designed us for more than that! He gave us the ability to think and free will to make choices. He expects us to employ the gifts – the power, love and sound mind – that He has given us.
We conquer the malignant spirit of fear by choosing the one fear that eliminates all others.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10 NASB)
Fear of God is reverence for Him. It is a holy, healthy fear that leads to life. It is the only fear we need (or should allow in our lives). When we fear God, He surrounds us with His goodness and protects us from all else. The first step to peace is to turn to God, seek to know Him personally and deeply. When you live with understanding of:
- who God is,
- how much He loves you, and
- the power He stands ready to exercise on your behalf,
there remains nothing that can cause you to fear.
Fear of God is simply trust in God. Give thanks for those things that tempt you to fear – for they have the potential to build your faith! Faith is more precious than gold, the key to pleasing God, the source of answered prayers, and the way God saves souls. Faith matters – opportunities to build faith are precious.
The temptation to fear is an alarm bell announcing doubt about God’s ability, willingness or wisdom to protect you. They become an opportunity to realize He is trustworthy and faith in Him leads to life! Nothing comes into our lives that our heavenly Father has not already filtered through His love and power. When fear functions as a red flag that drives you to Jesus, great good results! The Message translation sums it up beautifully with its rendering of Philippians 4:6-7:
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
The following Scriptures on fear are mighty weapons to slay fear and its avaricious accomplices. Let’s win some battles for Jesus!
But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. (1 Peter 3:14 NLT)
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. (Luke 12:22 NLT)
…God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. So, we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? (Hebrews 13:5-6)
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. (Psalm 118:6-7)
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. (Hebrews 6:18)
Billie Jo Youmans is Content Coordinator and Assistant Staff Writer for Inspiration Ministries.
If you would like one of our anointed prayer ministers to support you as you lift your voice in prayer, please click on the link below.
US / Canada:
UK / International:
+44 (0) 84 5683 0584
You can watch our powerful programming on either Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, via livestream at ini.tv/livestream, or on the Inspiration TV mobile app — click here for all the ways to watch!