Five-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomoto soup, but he didn't want to go in alone. "It's dark in there and I'm scared." She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, "It's OK - Jesus will be in there with you." Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said: "Jesus, if you're in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?" (Victory in the Valleys, Charles Allen) Fear can cause us to have all kinds of reactions! Just like Johnny who was afraid of the dark, we too can react emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually to our fears. Emotional reactions can produce extreme anxiety. Socially, we may withdrawal from those around us. Some physical effects might include changes in our sleeping and eating habits; stomach pain, headaches, problems with our digestive system and even heart problems. Spiritually when we are fearful, we may run from God, not trusting the One who can really help us in the midst of our fears.
Overcoming fear begins when we realize that God is a major resource for combating our fears and here is why:
- God loves you - 1 John 4:18 says, There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives our fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The man who fears is not made perfect in love.
- God is with you - Joshua 1:9 says, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
- God is for you - Romans 8:31 says, What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
- God is your guide and deliverer - Psalm 27:1 says, The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?