Dealing With Fear


Adam and Eve didn’t have any fears when they lived in the garden with God because they had nothing to fear. But as soon as they sinned, fear was one of the first emotions they experienced because of their sin, Genesis 3:10.

And ever since that day, mankind has had to deal with the challenge of fear. But we need to understand that God never created us to live with fear.

Do you know how many times in the Bible God says to His people do not be afraid, or do not fear?

Those phrases appear 365 times within the Bible, that’s one for every day of the year. God is constantly reminding us not to be fearful, why? Because He still doesn’t want us living with fear in our lives.

When it comes to the subject of fear, the Bible describes different kinds of fear.


Sometimes fear is described as cowardice, where a person or people are unwilling to do something because they are afraid of the consequences. Joshua and Caleb said they could conquer the land with God’s help, but the other ten spies were frightened, Numbers 1:30-31.


Sometimes the word fear means to be terrified which is the emotional reaction to sudden trouble. This is the kind of fear that Peter displayed when he denied Christ three times when people asked him if he knew Jesus, Luke 22:56-60.

Reverent Respect

Most of the time when the Bible speaks about fear it’s usually in connection with God and it means to have reverent respect, Psalm 111:10. It means to stand in awe of God and recognise His superiority and authority.

Let me ask you, what is your biggest fear? Maybe it’s the fear of being left alone or maybe the fear of death or becoming seriously ill. Maybe some of you are fearful of being rejected or getting old.

Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” The truth is we all have them, we all have our fears which we struggle with, but the question is, will you have mastery over them?

Now we may ask, ‘What is the difference between ‘worry’ and ‘fear’? Well, worry seems to be a more gradual process while fear is instantaneous.

In other words, we may lose our jobs and begin to worry about paying the bills. But when we actually lose our job, fear hits us instantaneously, it stops us in our tracks and leaves us paralyzed.

False Evidence Appearing Real

We’ve all heard of the acronym for fear, False Evidence Appearing Real. It’s the idea that something appears real, even though it may have no real substance.

But we need to understand that fear is the opposite of faith and it’s a tool that the devil uses against us to make us miserable, and ultimately ruin our lives.

Faith brings confidence in what we hope for, but fear leaves us uncertain about the future. Faith brings assurance of things not seen, but fear leaves us concerned about the things we can’t see. Fear is false evidence appearing real, but faith is believing that the best is yet to come, Hebrews 11:1.

In other words, if you are a Christian and you want to stop fear from dominating your life, then you need to replace those fears with faith. And if we are going have mastery over fear with faith, there are a few things we need to remember.

Remember That God Is With Us

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

I remember when I was a child, my mum had to take me to the doctor. I was terrified about what was going to happen, especially when the doctor told me they had to give me an injection.

My mum knew I was really scared but she reassured me that she wasn’t going anywhere, she would stay by my side the whole time. Yes, I was scared but I knew if anything went wrong, my mum was still beside me and would step in if I needed her to.

And God says to us all, don’t be afraid, I am with you, I will step in when I need to, I am in control, I’m right here by your side.

Remember The Power Of God

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

The word ‘dismayed’ means to look around anxiously, it’s the idea of running around like a headless chicken being afraid of everything and anything. God says, ‘Don’t do that, for I am your God.’

Notice He’s not just my God, He’s your God too. He is our personal God, He is Elohim, the all-powerful creator of the world.

If you tell me your fears, I’m sure that I might be able to bring some kind of comfort to you, but we need to remember that you and I are not God, and we don’t really have the power to help people have mastery over their fears.

We don’t know what God knows and we have no power over fear, but God does. God knows everything and He has absolute power over everything.

And He says to every one of us, ‘Do not be dismayed, I am your God and I have the power over the very thing you are frightened of’.

Remember The Promises Of God

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Notice the ‘I will’ statements of God in this verse. God says, ‘When fear comes upon you, I want you to remember these three promises.’

Remember God Will Strengthen Us

God will strengthen us when we need to be strengthened, Isaiah 41:10. When fear strikes, it often leaves us weak and vulnerable but Paul reminds us that when we are at our weakest, God works in us to make us strong, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

No matter what life throws at us, no matter how weak we feel, God will strengthen us and use us in our time of weakness.

Remember God Will Help Us

God will help us when we need to help, Isaiah 41:10. Have you ever been struck with fear to the point you just don’t know what to do? When fear comes into our lives, we often pretend that everything is ok, and we can manage on our own.

Let me be honest with you here, stop pretending that fear isn’t real, stop pretending that you can manage on your own. Instead, be honest with yourself, and be honest with God.

When fear strikes and you feel powerless, call out to God for help, just like King Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20. The city of Jerusalem was being surrounded by her enemies and King Jehoshaphat was afraid. But notice how honest he is in his prayer to God.

He recognises that he is powerless, he recognises that he’s at a loss as to what they should do but he is also wise enough to recognise that they should focus on the Lord for help, 2 Chronicles 20:12. As a result, God answers his prayer by helping Jehoshaphat and giving Jerusalem a great victory.

In other words, when fear strikes, admit your fears to God and trust Him to deliver you from them, Psalm 56:3.

Remember God Will Uphold Us With His Righteous Hand

God will uphold us when we need to be upheld, Isaiah 41:10. When I was a young boy, my dad used to take me hunting and I remember getting up at five in the morning, walking through very dark woods listening for wood pigeons.

My dad knew I was scared because of the way I was tightly holding his hand and I remember looking at his hands and thinking how big they were compared to mine. But because his hands were so big, I felt assured that no matter what came out of those woods, my dad wouldn’t let go of me.

In the same way, God promises to hold us up, He promises that he will never let go of our hand, no matter how scary life becomes. He holds us up with His ‘righteous right hand’, that is, His strong hand.

As Christians, we need to understand that when fear of any kind comes to visit us, we are in the safest hands in the universe. Not only are you in Christ’s hands, but you are also in God’s hands, so you have double protection, John 20:28-29.

Faith Enhances A Reality

Allow me to share with you another acronym for the word fear, Faith Enhances A Reality.

Are you afraid of the future? The reality is fear not because tomorrow is in God’s hands, Matthew 6:25.

Are you afraid of being a failure? The reality is fear not, God has better plans for you, Jeremiah 29:11.

Are you afraid of death? The reality is fear not, Jesus has conquered death, 1 Corinthians 15:54-55.

Are you afraid of the judgment day? The reality is fear not, God loves you and His Son paid the punishment your sin deserves on the cross, Galatians 1:4 / 1 John 4:18.

Fearless And Fear Less

Let me ask you, what is the difference between fearless and fearless? One means never to be fearful and the other means to fear less often.

God doesn’t want us to live in fear, 2 Timothy 1:7, but when fear visits you, remember that God is with you, remember the power of God and remember the promises of God, Isaiah 41:10. You may not become fearless, but He will help you to fear less often.

Now don’t misunderstand me, fear in and of itself is not always wrong. For example, if we didn’t fear fire, we would get burned so the use of the word fear in that context can be a good thing.

If you’re not a Christian this morning, ask yourself, what is your biggest fear? Maybe you fear your relationship will break down and you’ll lose the one you love. Maybe you fear losing your health or your wealth.

Let me say this as bluntly but lovingly as I can, your biggest fear should be the fear of God Himself, your biggest fear should be losing your soul. And if you value your soul as much as God values your soul, then I encourage you to think seriously about your eternal destiny, Matthew 10:28-31.