What Does the Bible Say About Fear

Fear Not

In the Bible, God says, "fear not" over 360 times, because He wants us to know that we can rely on Him to meet our needs. Imagine yourself having a fearless future, you can expect great things being part of your renewed life.

We, as human beings are led to believe that fear is normal. In fact, we're told that fear is a natural survival mechanism. That it prevents us from doing dangerous, harm threatening stuff but I beg to differ.

In order to understand exactly what fear is, we should look at the definition of fear and then ask ourselves, what does the Bible say about fear? We must realize that fear is not only an emotion, it is also a spirit, which can become a stronghold in the mind or soul. Inordinate fear will not go away on its own, one must cast it out. The Bible give us resources to break free from fear in order to live an abundant life. No medication required! However, a dose of faith is required.

2 Timothy 1:7 states, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love and of sound mind."

Definition of Fear

Webster defines fear as...

  • An emotion or anxious feeling aroused by a real or imagined threat (usually accompanied by a desire to flee, comply or fight).
  • A feeling of profound respect for someone or something (fear of the Lord)

Proverbs 1: 7 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge". A feeling of awe for God Almighty puts us on the path of gaining wisdom, because it draws us toward our awesome Lord and gives us motivation to learn His ways.

Psalm 112:1 & 7 "Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds delight in his commands." Verse 7 goes on to say, "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord."

Fear of the Lord should not cause a desire to flee from Him but a respect for Yahweh, the great "I Am", which is His covenant name as provider and protector of His people.

Fear vs Faith

What is fear? It is a spiritual force, just like faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Fear is the substance of things dreaded. You see, faith and fear operate by the same spiritual laws. One is the opposite of the other. Faith is positive, fear is negative.

Living in fear builds walls, which are designed to limit a person's capability.

Take for instance, Matthew's account (Matthew 14:28-31) of Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus. Peter was actually walking on water towards Christ until he became afraid and began to sink. Notice that his sinking was gradual, the more afraid he became, the more he sunk. Or it could be said that as his faith decreased, he sunk into the water. Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter saying, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Also, realize fear is a foreign spirit that does not come from God. If you are ever afraid of something, you can have confidence that the fear is coming from Satan. A Christian’s reborn spirit does not produce fear, so if fear comes, it is an attack of the enemy against your soul. Our enemy has an objective to introduce fear to your mind so it makes its way to your spirit. When this happens, he can bring his plans of ruin to manifest in your life.

Can you feel it?

There is a negative aura out there. Have you felt it? It might be that you felt this vibe at work, at home, with friends or even among some Christians. It starts as negative thoughts and progresses to paralyzing fear.

We are living in the last days the Lord spoke about, "And there shall be distress of nations..."

Cast out fear

There is a choice one must make as a believer as to how you will live, will it be in faith or fear?

The apostle John gives the answer (1 John 4:18), "Perfect love cast out fear." Another antidote for fear is to be content, enjoy what you have, give to others when you can and grow in faith.

Turn a deaf ear to the negative and hold on to your dreams, trust in the Almighty, because He works towards your best interest, even though you don't see evidence of this now rest assured that good things are in your future.

Walk in love toward others so the love of God can drive fear out of your heart and mind. Understanding God's will for your life will cause the spirit of fear to flee from you, because once you understand the blessing of the Lord, you can truly fear not.

Living in fear is all about self preservation. While living fearless is about selflessness, putting your faith (trusting) God the Father. Accept the Lord's ability to preserve you. You don't have to know it all and you surely don't have the ability to fix it all.

The Bible tells us to deal with fear as an enemy, because it torments the soul bringing the curse into your life. However, there is one exception, fear the Lord in terms of doing your best to please Him, which will bring the blessing of a prosperous life.

Man was created in His image, spirit, soul and body.
Man was created in His image, spirit, soul and body. | Source

A Spirit of Fear Paralyzes

The impact of fear goes beyond spiritual issues, assuming that you believe that human beings are spiritual beings, having a spirit, soul and temporarily inhabit fleshly bodies.

Fear causes people to be afraid to take the next step for advancement, because they're afraid of more responsibility. Fear of failure often causes people to dismiss pursuing a wonderful idea. Others are paralyzed by fear when they get up in the morning, afraid to go about the routines of life.

Fear is a magnet to demons whom strike fear in the hearts of believers by sending intimidation to frighten them away from faithfulness in His Word. That little voice in your ear sounds exactly like you, does it not? Attacking the mind with unpleasant, fearful thoughts, ideas or suggestions. Very subtle but when one entertains these fearful thoughts or dwells on them, they can and will affect a person's spirit.

This spirit can effect every area of our life because it...

  • Divides our minds. Apprehension pulls us in different directions, making it hard to focus on important matters.
  • Slows down our productivity. Because we are distracted with worry, we can’t give anything else our best efforts.
  • Affects our personal relationships with others. It’s hard to keep our anxieties to ourselves. When we’re filled with fear, we burden those around us.
  • Leads to unwise decisions. Those who are overly concerned about the future are prone to make hasty decisions to stop feeling uncertain.
  • Steals our joy and peace. It’s impossible for us to be worried and peaceful at the same time.
  • Fear proves to be a terrible waste of time and energy. Uncertainty, frustration, and worry are exhausting and achieve nothing and can even have a devastating effect on our health.
  • A tool used by an enemy to manipulate or intimidate others subjecting them to bondage.

Have you ever heard the spirit of fear whisper fearful things into your ear, causing you to worry for no apparent reason? This wicked spirit will try to make you dwell on something you fear in order to gain a foothold in your mind, causing panic or anxiety. That is why you must put those thoughts out of your mind.

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can make your stand against the devil's schemes." Ephesians 6:11

"I sought the Lord and He answered me, He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look for Him are radiant,their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called and the Lord heard him, He saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them." Psalm 34:4-7

Fear in the Bible surfaced right after Adam and Eve fell into sin (Genesis 3:8), "The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden during the cool of the day and they hid from the Lord among the trees of the garden. God called to the man, "Where are you?" Adam answered, "I heard you and was afraid because I was naked, so I hid."

The devil uses fear in your life to increase your guilt when you give in to sin. Adams fear disrupted his routine of walking with God Almighty during the cool of the day.

Fear has partners, that's right, because when one is overcome with the spirit of fear it often brings other tormenting spirits along. This may include depression, anger and despair.

What are you afraid of?

It pleases your enemy when you focus on frightful things going on around you such as news reports of economic ruin, crime and natural disasters, because this can ignite anxiety. He likes it when you listen to words of fear and despair so he can bring the very things you fear to pass in your life. It sounds like a dirty game but Satan does not play fair.

The book of Job is a good example of this. In job 3:25 you'll find these words, "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me and what I dreaded has happened to me." Job lost everything, his children, wife, wealth and even his health.

Satan was granted permission by Yahweh to touch Job's life, because Satan thought that he could make Job curse God but Job never did. However, fear did exist in Job's life. He had a fear of something happening to his children and feared losing his wealth. This fear opened the door for Satan and he hit Job hard. When all was said and done, Job learned the error of his thinking and the Lord made him prosperous again, giving him twice as much as he had before.

I thank the Lord, for He is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6) and Isaiah 41:13 says, "I am the Lord, Who says to you, fear not, I will help you."

Many people have a powerful fear of dying but Jesus went to the cross and took away death's power. Hebrews 3:14-15... "Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He destroyed him who holds the power of death (the devil), so as to free those who all their lives were held in bondage by their fear of death."

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

There are people who are afraid to live life to its fullest, because they fear others. Often they fear what others may think, peer pressure or a fear of being different. The truth of the matter is it doesn't matter what anybody thinks except God. "The fear of man brings a snare but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25)

You don't have to be afraid of what is going to happen tomorrow. Once you know the Lord Jesus Christ, fear of the future will leave. See Matthew 6:25 "Do not worry".

There is a reason as to why some of you are tormented by fear. Maybe you suffered rejection from someone significant in your life. It could have been physical or verbal abuse, either way you are still tormented because you've never let the pain go and forgiven those who hurt you. Whether they asked you to forgive them or not, you must forgive them. It may help you realize the importance of forgiving if you read, "The parable of the unmerciful servant", found in Matthew 18:21-35.

You can ask Jesus to save you from all fear and be King of your life. Simply pray... Jesus, I trust you with my life. I believe "You" laid down your life on the cross, were buried and resurrected so that I can be free to live life abundantly. Thank You for loving me and for the gift of everlasting life in peace.

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Comments 2 comments

Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN

Interesting Hub! What about where Jesus said, "Be afraid instead of the One who can cast your body and spirit into hell?"

Reciprocal is not the same as opposite.

Voted up!

Michael Jon profile image

Michael Jon 4 years ago from St. Louis Author

That's a pretty good point Chris, the Bible does not contradict itself and scripture does say that we are to fear the Lord but fear in terms of awe or reverence.

The keyword in the statement in which you are referring is "instead" (as an alternative to), so I think He is saying, if you're going to be afraid then be afraid of the One who can cast your spirit into hell.

Hey, thanks for the vocabulary lesson.

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