Do not fear or be dismayed!
1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of the faith.
According to Psychology Today, “Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats.” Then it goes on to say that “exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.” Certainly people have been helped by staring fear in the face and learning that the perceived dangers as far less fearsome than they thought.
One fear, however, can overcome another. If you’re afraid of water and are being chased by an animal that is more fearful of water than desirous of harming you, your own fear of water might be overcome by your fear of the animal’s ability to harm you! Your fear of heights might be overcome by a fear of fire that forces you out of a high window onto a firetruck’s rescue basket!
This would also apply to our healthy and proper fear of God. If we fear God, we may well resist the fear of peer pressure when it comes to certain temptations; we might not go along with the plans to cheat someone because we fear God more than the office blacklist.
Faith, however, is the best fear buster. Faith looks beyond the fear of God’s judgment (a legitimate fear, but a secondary motivation). Faith looks to the good promises of God. Faith enables us to stand up to bullies and see a victory that comes only from God.
If w are to live out our true identity as sons and daughters of God, we will not give into fear mongers, bullies, or schemers. We believe that the tomb is empty. We believe that God reigns over all things – whether the battle is going our way or not at the moment. For there will be a Final Moment when our fears melt away and we will be forever secure in the presence of our God and Savior. We do well to live in that confidence and not in the fear of any man.