We’re quite accustomed to it lately. The pandemic, wars, relationships, legal issues. By definition, according to Merriam-Webster, Fear is “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.” We are also commanded not to fear. Multiple times we are commanded to not be afraid. Everyone that has ever encountered God or his messengers have always been greeted with the same expression, “Fear not.” So why do we fear? Why is something so intrinsic, and so human, so wrong?
Joshua 1:9 tells us, as Joshua was preparing to go into Canaan to take back the land given to the Israelites, God told Joshua, “Haven’t I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage! Be not afraid…”. Later on, God tells Isaiah, “Fear not, for I am with you!” (ISA 41:10). But why is this a thing? Why is this wrong?
As mentioned before, a couple weeks back, God tells us that he will put us in “Perfect Peace”(Isa 26:3), and we are to acknowledge God in all our ways (Prov. 3:5&6), and He will direct our paths. We’re supposed to trust God in everything. It’s a hard mindset to get into, and as imperfect creatures, we will struggle with it minute by minute. Fear is simply anticipating something that (especially in our day and age) most likely won’t happen, but on the off chance it does, it would be horrible. God expects us to trust Him for things to work out the way He has planned.
Secondly, it’s a matter of faith. In the gospel of Matthew, we are told as the disciples were on a small fishing vessel, and a storm kicked up, they awoke Jesus telling him they were afraid. The first thing that He did was basically roll his eyes and comment, “Why are you afraid? Oh ye of little faith” (Matt 8:26). The second thing He did was comfort them by handling the situation.
Even though they had technically sinned, they put their trust in Him by waking him, and He saved them. In 2 Timothy, Paul writes that “God has not given us the spirit of FEAR” (2 Tim 1:7). In the same verse, he tells us what God has given us “Power, Love and Self-Control,” and all of those things are the antithesis to fear.
Trusting in God completely is a hard thing, and it’s something I can’t help but struggle with. Honestly, it’s hard trusting anyone that isn’t next to you 100% of the time, and even then they may not be trustworthy. I do know (in my head anyways) that God is always trustworthy, but getting over my fear is the hardest thing to do sometimes.
We should always remember; however, we have a good father in Heaven who cares for us and is looking out for us. It’s our own limitations that make us afraid.