How to Change Fear

How to Change Fear January 31, 2019


Do you know that Jesus felt fear? We know that He experienced every aspect of being human, and fear is definitely a common human emotion.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, before His arrest and crucifixion, the Bible describes Jesus as being “in agony.” That comes from the Greek word agonia, which was used to convey great fear or distress.

We often suffer from a fear of the unknown, but Jesus had full knowledge of everything He was about to go through.

Because Jesus was fully human as well as being fully God this fear could have caused Him to make a fear-based decision. But faith gives us courage, and Jesus acted above His fear. He felt fear. But He didn’t let fear control Him. Fear-based decisions are never in compliance to God’s will.

That’s why Jesus went to the cross. Luke 22:42 tells us He prayed, “Not my will, but Yours, be done.”

Not all fear is bad. There are some good types of fear. If you are driving and someone swerves into your lane, you will immediately feel an instinctive, gut-level type of fear. That kind of fear causes you to react in self-preservation.

That’s good fear. It’s circumstantial. It passes almost as quickly as it arrives. But bad fear is a tool the devil uses to keep us from doing God’s will, and it is the type of fear that sticks around. It is perpetual. It hangs over you.

Good fear is protective. It causes you to swerve to avoid a collision.

Bad fear is paralyzing. It stops you in your tracks.

Good fear is instructive. It helps you do the right thing.

Bad fear is confusing and fatalistic. It has you wondering what’s going to happen tomorrow. It has you waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Good fear is empowering. It fills you with adrenaline, quickens your reflexes, and prepares you for what’s coming.

Bad fear is enslaving. It takes away peace and influences you to do the wrong thing. It prevents you from following God.

We all experience the good kind of fear, which is helpful. But because we are human, we are also vulnerable to the bad kind of fear. The important thing is to learn how to overcome the bad fear when we face it.

First, admit your fear without shame. That’s what Jesus did when He was in Gethsemane, asking God to “take this cup” from Him. God is light but the Devil is darkness. Satan wants us to keep our fears hidden.

Fear ends when we expose it. We need to bring fear into the light of healing. The truth literally will set us free.

Second, we have to submit our fears to God. Jesus said, “not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus admitted to the emotions He was feeling, but relied on the strength God gave Him to rise above those emotions. Everyone experiences fear, but great people act above their fears.

Finally, focus on God’s presence and love. Psalm 23 says “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

God’s presence is with you. He goes before you. His love sustains you. He can help you change your mind about fear.

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