I read a meme on Facebook saying that there are 365 instances of the words “Fear Not” in the Bible. The author of this meme supposes that there is one “Fear Not” for every day of the year. I had to research this for myself; I once made the mistake of actually saying this in a Sunday message before I actually researched it. Here’s what I found:
“Fear Not” 63 occurrences
“No Fear” 4 occurrences
“Fear” 385 occurrences
So the instruction to eliminate fear from our lives is a recurring theme in Scripture. There are a lot of places in the Bible that we could springboard from on this but I’ll start here:
(2 Timothy 1:7) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
And, just for emphasis, here is the same passage of Scripture in the Amplified:
(2 Timothy 1:7) For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well- balanced mind and discipline and self- control.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, famously said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear, itself.” While this is not Biblical, it is true, nonetheless. How is that?
Because fear is a spirit. Scientifically speaking, nature abhors a vacuum and where faith is absent, fear finds a home.
How do you deal with any spirit not of God? With the Word of God, of course!
Fear and worry are common to humanity but they are unnatural responses to life’s situations. Don’t believe me? Fear and worry lead to stress, which leads to a myriad of physical, emotional, and mental ailments.
We are fearful of the unknown. We are fearful of the powerful. We are fearful of the hateful. Yes, we are fearful of all these things but there are two persistent thing we are fearful of ; one of which will surprise you:
The first is the fear of failure.
This one is easy; no one likes to fail. We miss opportunities to start businesses, to engage in relationships, to invest, because the potential of failure grips us in fear. Jesus’ disciples did not speak to the storm in Mark 4 because they feared the storm would persist. Jesus had already given them authority to speak to situations and had demonstrated this power on numerous occasions. The disciples could not cast the demon out of the boy in Mark 9 because they feared failure.
The second is the fear of success.
Yes, we are fearful of what riches and fame success will bring us. But, in the Body of Christ, many of us are fearful that we may do something so spectacular for God that it will bring us undue attention. Peter, at the behest of Jesus, stepped out of a ship onto a raging sea to join Jesus, who was walking on the water in Matthew 14. He stepped out in faith and began to walk on the water, himself. However, he was soon overcome by the prevailing storm and began to sink. I submit to you that Peter not only feared the storm but he feared that he might actually be successful at something Jesus did.
Now, most people would think that because fear steps in where faith is absent that faith is the solution. To that, I’d say you are partially correct.
The remedy for fear is Love.
Love, love, and more love. To borrow from a Frankie Beverly song, Love is the Key! Faith is definitely important but the Bible makes it plain:
(Galatians 5:5 AMP) For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
Faith works by love. An engine without fuel is little more than an expensive paperweight or an overwrought boat anchor. Love is what is needed to fuel faith!
The biggest reason why folks stumble in their faith walk is because they are hobbled in love. Unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, and bigotry all are hinderances to love. And, because God is love, and faith is powered by love, and without faith, it is impossible to please God, we cannot fully appropriate God’s promises because they are obtained by faith which works by love!
Here’s what the Bible says about Love concerning fear:
(1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Mature love displaces fear. The more mature your love is the more powerful your faith becomes!
But watch that second part: “For fear has to do with punishment.”
When you catch that, it changes your whole paradigm for soul-winning and discipleship!
Preaching hellfire and damnation only brings about fear and emphasizes punishment, but only love will cast out fear!
If you find yourself in fear, find a way to express the Love of God to someone.
If it doesn’t work, increase the dosage until fear is gone!
The Bible tells us that we are empowered to go boldly before the throne of Grace — if we can do that, we have absolutely nothing to fear!
We extinguish the flames of fear by turning on the fire hose of love.
© 2015 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)