by Baruch Okpulor
Writer, Author and HSE Manager
It is obvious that fear is a common human experience for saints and sinners alike.
When we stand before the giants of evil, disease and death, joblessness, business failure, barrenness, poverty, divorce or struggling relationship, we may shake with fear at the beginning of the ordeal.
The writer of Psalm 64 prayed, “Preserve my life from dread of the enemy” (64:1). Fear so filled him that he thought he was going to die.
When Paul, the apostle, went to Corinth for the first time, fear gripped him and he said, “I am with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling” (1Corinthians 2:3).
Perhaps he saw the bigness of his task and the depth of the sin that he would have to confront and his heart quaked as he took in the situation he was facing.
Spiritually, there are two types of fear. The first one is more like dread. It is seizes us as we prepare to enter some great trial or difficulty. This was the experience of Paul when he began to preach at Corinth.
The second one is wholesome respect for God. Paul said of rebellious sinners, “there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).
It is this type of fear that is “the beginning of knowledge” (Proverb 1:7a). The first kind is of this earth, but the second kind is from God. The first kind kills and debilitates, the second kind heals and saves.
How are we to handle earthly terror and dread?
In short, the answer is this: we must face it with faith.
However, we can be more specific.
First: We Must Look Up
When we are overwhelmed by fear, we should look at God on His throne. Look up to heaven and remember what God had done for His people in the past, what he is doing presently and what his omnipotent power will accomplish in future .
From the confines of trouble, we look at Him and are persuaded to believe that all is well with us and God is in charge of us and will see that our needs are met.
We see forces around us that are bigger than we are, and it is easy to allow them to overcome us when trouble or confusion comes, looking up reminds us that God has not relinquished his throne to anyone.
He is in us, is working through us, and is going ahead of us.
When the pains of life wanted to overwhelmed King David, he said with faith, “the Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? “(Psalm 27:1)
Second: We Must Look Within
When our heart is filled with fear, we ought to talk to ourselves and demand that we look at the situation with faith instead of fear.
We must think of the power, strength and protection that come from God instead of focusing on the problem.
Our focus will determine whether we will be controlled by our faith or our fear.
Who we are determines what we see.
Third: We Must Look Back
In the midst of a fearful situation, we can remember how God has always treated people who trusted him in the past.
He watched over Joseph when he was sold into slavery and over the two years he spent in prison as a result of Portipher’s wife allegation of sexual harassment.
Recall how God protected David as he faced the Philistine warlord and giant, Goliath.
In our world, God continues to do great miracles and grant supernatural deliverances.
These evidences unite to say that God is stronger than all the other forces around us put together.
We can overcome anything because greater is He who is in us than who is in the world.
Fourth: We Must Look Ahead
God holds our future. He determines it. God will do great things for us to attract glory to Himself. We can do all through Christ who strengthens us because we are the “personal property” of God.
The knowledge that we are living in God is the antidote to fear.
When we remember what God has said to us, our fears are wiped away by faith.
For He himself has said, “I will never dissent you, nor will I ever forsake you”.
Contact Baruch on firstname.lastname@example.org