Fear is natural, and in many cases, it’s a good thing. As children, we were taught to fear hot stoves and the middle of the street for our own good. But while fear can be a motivating factor to be careful and wise in our dealings, it can also cause torment if we allow it to dwell. Scientist Karl Albrecht Ph.D. tells us that there are five basic fears from which all others emanate. These are universal to all humans, and they go hand in hand with our basic needs. But while our flesh might be prone to react to certain information with distress, the Bible tells us over a hundred times not to fear. Instead, God assures us that He will take care of us, be with us, and guide us if we will just live in right relationship with Him. Instead of fear, we can choose faith in God’s promises instead.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”Psalm 27:1
Here are the five kinds of fears and God’s promises that speak to them. Keep this list handy and pray these scriptures in belief.
1. Fear of Physical Damage or Pain
Pain, by definition, hurts. It’s an unpleasant sensation that lets us know that something is wrong so that we can fix it before more damage is done. We all want to be healthy and whole. We want all of our physical needs met like food, water, shelter, and sleep. But when one or more of these needs are threatened, whether real or imagined, this can cause fear.
Fear of Not Having Enough
God knows we have physical needs. He didn’t drag the people of Israel out of Egypt to let them starve in the desert. He supplied them with food from the sky and water from a rock. His presence went with them to guide them on their journey. He made a way when there was no way for them, and He hasn’t changed in His ability or willingness to take care of His people. Psalm 37:25 says “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” When we look at our lives, we can see that He has always provided for us in the past. We can trust the same from Him in the future.
MATTHEW 6:31-33 – “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
MATTHEW 7:9-11 – “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
MARK 11:24 – “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.“
PHILIPPIANS 4:19 – “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Fear of Sickness or Fatigue
Being a child of God doesn’t mean that we will never get sick. Sometimes we will be kept from illness, but other times God will use it for His own purposes. Romans 8:28 tells us that “And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God and to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Maybe illness is what is necessary to get us into the presence of those who need to be told about salvation. Maybe going through pain is how we will be humbled enough to understand and comfort others in their trials. Or, maybe He will heal us for His glory. In any case, whether He keeps us from it or is with us through it, no pain is wasted with God.
PSALM 91:10-12 – “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-4 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
JAMES 5:14-15 – “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
ISAIAH 40:29 – “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.”
ISAIAH 40:31 – “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
2. Fear of Death
Fear of Physical Death
Life is precious. It’s a basic instinct in all of us to act in our own best interest to preserve ourselves and the lives of others. This fear keeps us from risky behavior, but it can also cause terrible stress and strain when we feel that our physical safety is threatened. Of course, trusting in God doesn’t mean that we will never die. Job 13:15 says, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him….” It just means that God will not allow us to be taken out before HE chooses the time for us to go. Men and even the devil have no power over us while God still has a purpose for us on earth.
PSALM 56:11 – “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
ISAIAH 54:17 – “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.
PSALM 5:11 – “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.”
Fear of Losing Salvation
As Christians, we know death is not the end. To be absent with the body is to be present with the Lord. But, when the devil can’t make us fear losing this life, he can try to make us fear going into the next. The fear of eternal death or losing our salvation is a favorite ploy of the enemy to cause mistrust in God. Yes, we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and do our best to listen to God and obey Him. But the idea that we are on the edge of hell with every thought or action is a lie from the pit. God is the author and the finisher of our faith. He promises to keep us if we will but hope to the end in Him.
JUDE 24 – “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”
PHILIPPIANS 1:6 – “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
1 JOHN 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
JOHN 14:3 – “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
JOHN 10:28 – “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
PSALM 121:7-8 – “The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”
1 PETER 1:4 – “…to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
1 JOHN 2:25 – “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.”
3. Fear of Losing Control
Feeling helpless in any given situation can lead to fear. We don’t want to lose our freedom. Whether it’s a physical freedom to move around or a mental freedom to think and speak the way we see fit, we want the power to choose to act in ways that make a meaningful difference in our situations. In addition, having choices to make with unknown outcomes can bring fear and even panic into our hearts if we wallow in the “what-ifs” instead of bringing our troubles to God and asking for Him to guide us.
The key here is to understand who is in charge of our lives; either we are, or God is. There can only be one Captain of our ship. As Christians, we are simply not our own. We have been bought with a price, and God now calls the shots. We can have confidence that even when it feels like things are spiraling out of control, nothing surprises God. He hears us when we call, He guides us, and He will work on our behalf if we will but trust in Him.
PROVERBS 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
JAMES 4:7 – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
JAMES 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
PSALM 34:17 – “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”
PSALM 50:15 – “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
PSALM 1:3 – “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
4. Fear of Separation
We all want to be loved and accepted. Fear comes when we consider the possibility that we will be rejected, unwanted, abandoned, or separated from those we love. We need connections to family and intimacy in love and friendship. One of the greatest fears that the devil tries to create in Christians is the fear that God will abandon us, that we will be left to face this life alone. But the devil is a liar. God will be with us and will even watch over our families for us.
ISAIAH 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
ISAIAH 41:13 – “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’”
DEUTERONOMY 31:8 – “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
DEUTERONOMY 4:29 – “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
JOSHUA 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
PSALM 23:4 – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
ISAIAH 49:25 – “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered; forI will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.”
5. Fear of Disapproval
Our identity as a person matters. We all want to be thought of as lovable, capable, and worthy. When faced with humiliation and shame, our sense of self is threatened. For Christians, we want to feel that we matter to God’s work and to God Himself. God goes to great lengths in His word to assure us that He loves us and values us as His precious children. Even if and when other people turn their backs on us, God never will.
MATTHEW 10:31 – “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
JEREMIAH 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
PSALM 9:9-10 – “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Fear is the Opposite of Faith
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”1 John 4:18
God is a good Father who watches out for His children and wants what is best in every situation even if we don’t understand at the time. Someone once counted 3,573 of God’s promises in the Bible for His children. And, unlike people, when God says something, He means it. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Over and over again, the Bible tells us not to fear. God is with us and for us, and He is always in control. That doesn’t mean that as Christians we won’t experience pain and even death (at least the physical kind). But it does mean that God sees us and will answer when we call. In many cases God has and will deliver us from troubles. We are not our own, and we all have jobs to do for the kingdom. While He still has a use for us, He will keep us alive and safe. But even if He doesn’t, He will be with us to comfort us the whole time, and He will use every bit of pain and discomfort for our good and His glory.
The remedy for fear is in understanding and trusting in the promises of God. God will take care of us, comfort us, keep us, fight for us, love us, and be with us no matter what happens to us in this life. We can trust God’s promises and choose faith instead of fear.
Check out this song by Addison Road. I have been listening to it all week, and it goes along perfectly with this blog: Hope Now.
If you like articles about God’s promises, try Standing on the Promises of God . It is about a situation at school that taught me to stand against the devil and praise God’s name. Or, try Three Simple Instructions from God to Us in which God shows me a lesson from Hebrews 3-4. Please make sure to subscribe via email in the upper right hand corner. Also, check out my YouTube channel in which I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.