How Christians Deal with the Temptation to Fear

Today we see and hear of recessions, pandemics, and natural disasters along with daily anxieties, making us prone to fear. Fear can turn to panic in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

  • How should we as Biblically intelligized grace believers respond when fear comes?
  • What does Scripture advise us to do in turbulent times?

Our Apostle to the Gentiles of this age, Paul, gives us a very practical and comforting instruction for our anxieties that ought to govern how we approach our fears.

Be careful [Grk. merimnao, anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication [request, petition] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Notice in the above verse that we are not promised to get what we want but rather, if we pray in faith leaving our petition with Him and His will, we can have peace of mind and heart. God’s objective for us is to return to and abide in “the peace of God” Without Getting What We Want… tacitly trusting His will in all things.

The Bible does not deny that we will face adversity in this life—in fact, the Jesus guaranteed that we will face troubles. Jesus said;

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation [Grk. thlipsis, pressure]: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Neither does God’s written Word of God deny that our initial response to calamity or adversity is often feelings of fear. But the Apostle Paul, as “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13) of this age tells us that even in the direst of situations, we have the ability to act in faith… trusting the Lord.

How? It is not by pretending the fear isn’t real, and not by mustering up all the courage we can, but by acknowledging our fears and honestly making them known to the Lord in prayer… and leaving them with Him in faith. For even in the most-dire of situations, we have the ability to act in faith.

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

Our prayers do not prevent us from acting with prudence and caution when circumstances warrant it. Nothing in this Philippians 4:6-7 says we can’t prepare for the worst. But there should be a distinct difference between the way the world handles fear and the way grace believers handle fear. The world panics; but we pray in accord with what “we know” of the Lord and how He work in our lives… which is in faith and unto peace in our hearts and minds.

The mind persistently set upon the truth of God’s word in faith is the key to peace and rest in our soul. In additions to the everyday situations and circumstances of life, we also have Satan attacks our minds, provoking fearful thoughts.

“… they that are after the Spirit [mind] the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally [fleshly, externally] minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6 (KJV)

We also pray knowing the Lord makes intercession for us.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he [Christ] maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 (KJV)

Jesus of Nazareth prayed according to the will of the Father repeatedly. Thus, in all things we must seek the will of God.

We know that every experience, be it good or bad, is spiritually profitable as it works for our eternal good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:28-29 (KJV)

I’ve already mentioned how that Satan attacks our minds, provoking fearful thoughts. We know that our fear is often the work of “the accuser [the Devil] of the brethren who tempt us with unreasonable thoughts to provoke fear, thinking He can thereby frustrate us and stop us from sharing the good news of Christ and His Cross-work with others. His thought is, after all how could we, being cast down, spread the good news. Actually, we must learn to “cast down” these Satan inspired thoughts that Paul calls “imaginations.”

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the [true] knowledge of God, and Bringing Into Captivity Every Thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Cor. 10:4-5)

But there is another casting that we need to note as it applies also to us for our good.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)  

Below is an excerpt from Rick Renner concerning ‘Casting all your care upon him.’

“We as humans are not designed to carry the burden of worry, fretting, and anxiety. This load is simply too much for the human body and the central nervous system to tolerate. We may be able to manage it for a while, but eventually the physical body and mind will begin to break under this type of perpetual pressure. In fact, the medical world has confirmed that the major source of sickness in the Western Hemisphere is stress and pressure. Man was simply not fashioned to carry pressures, stresses, anxieties, and worries; this is the reason his body breaks down when it undergoes these negative influences for too long.

If you are struggling with sickness or depression, your condition very possibly could be related to stress and pressure. In 1 Peter 5:7, it is almost as if Jesus is calling out to you and saying;

“Your shoulders are not big enough to carry the burdens you’re trying to bear by yourself. This load will eventually break you — so please let ME be your beast of burden! Take that load and heave it with all your might. Fling it over onto MY back, and let ME carry it for you!”

Just as Luke 19:35 says they cast their garments upon the back of the donkey, now you need to cast your burdens over on the Lord and let Him carry those burdens for you!

But exactly what problems and cares are we to throw over onto the shoulders of the Lord?

The Apostle Peter says we are to cast ALL of “our cares” upon Jesus. The word “cares” is the Greek word merimna, which means anxiety. However, in principle it describes any affliction, difficulty, hardship, misfortune, trouble, or complicated circumstance that arises as a result of problems that develop in our lives. It could refer to problems that are financial, marital, job-related, family-related, business-oriented, or anything else that concerns us.

The Apostle Paul, after his miracle working time of going to “the Jew first” with signs and wonders during the Acts period ended, he learned how to live without expecting a miracle to remove any sufferings. You might recall how he had what is believed to be an eye problem (though I personally think it was much more), for which Paul sought the Lord for healing three times. But God answered by saying “My Grace is Sufficient for thee.” Paul then learned to live by the grace of God’s will and sustaining inner power. Paul then resigned himself to live through sufferings of all kinds by God’s grace.

“And he [the Lord] said unto me [Paul], My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, [so] that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

The mighty Paul than had realized he could no longer heal himself or anyone, so he writes things like ‘I left Trophimus sick,’ and counseled Timothy to ‘take a little wine for his stomach’s sake.’

“…Trophimus have I [Paul] left at Miletum sick.” (2 Timothy 4:20 (KJV)

“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” (1 Timothy 5:23 (KJV)

The Fear of Death:

Many none believers and some believers are plagued by an unspoken “fear of death.” The Christian who still has a fear of death is either not really a believer at all or they are a Biblically ignorant believer.

Our Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul, clearly explains what occurs at the Rapture of believers with the close this age of this age of “dispensation of the grace of God.”

“And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:15)

“Behold, I shew you a mystery [secret]; We [as believers] shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [the living] shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (KJV)

Thus, Paul refers to the Rapture of the believers to heaven as their “blessed hope.”

Looking for that blessed hope [expectation], and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“For our conversation [Old English for citizenship’]is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body [spirit-body], according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV)

“For we know that if our earthly house [body] of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house [spirit-body] not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1 (KJV)

Questions or Comment?

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