It comes in all shapes and sizes. Its sources are seemingly endless. And, it’s known by many different names: anxiety, panic, phobia, worry, nervousness, dread, horror, fright, terror, alarm, trepidation, etc.
But, they’re all still the same and produce the same result in us.
That’s why we need to know how to recognize it for what it is and how to cope —yea, even conquer — it.
The Bible teaches us that "God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear — but of power, love and a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7). Therefore, it comes from somewhere else. And, where might that be?
Believe it or not, we’re born with it.
Yes, fear — like anger, sadness, happiness, etc. — is one of our primary emotions. And, we express them in many different ways. But, it doesn’t mean we have to let them control us, especially when it comes to their destructive ways.
A baby doesn’t have to be taught to be afraid. A loud noise will startle him and he’ll immediately begin to scream at the top of his voice. If she feels like she’s being dropped, she’ll cry uncontrollably until she’s held tightly and comforted. And, sometimes traumatic experiences in those early years will affect a child for the rest of his/her life.
It might be a car accident. Or, getting bitten by an animal. Or, being burned. Or, being emotionally, mentally, physically or sexually abused. All of these — especially in one’s formative years — can result in various phobias that last a lifetime.
But, that doesn’t mean we have to be controlled by them.
King David wrote in Psalm 27:1, "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? "However, in Ps. 56:3 he also wrote, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in You. "
Thus, it’s clear: Faith is the antidote of fear.
When Faith arises, fear flees — just as darkness flees when the sun arises. Hallelujah!
The story is told of a pastor flying overseas on a jumbo jet for vacation. While en route, the plane encountered heavy turbulence. For a number of minutes the airliner was tossed around like a child’s toy by the wind currents, air pockets, etc. The overhead bin doors popped opened and some of the carry - on luggage fell out. Some of the oxygen masks even dropped down on the seated passengers below.
Needless to say, everyone was afraid.
Except for one little girl across the aisle from the pastor who seemed oblivious to what was going on. During the whole, frightening ordeal she just sat there in her seat - coloring in her coloring book - humming various songs.
Although gripping his seat’s armrests with white-knuckled grips and praying like he’d never prayed before, the pastor stared in amazement at the young girl. "How can she be so calm in a time like this?" he whispered to himself.
"She must be the strongest Christian I’ve ever seen," he thought.
So, after the flight landed and the passengers were getting off, he bent over to the still-coloring little girl and said, "Young lady, I want you to know that I’m a pastor and I watched you during the scary part of the flight and noticed you weren’t worried. What kept you from being afraid?"
She smiled and said, "My daddy’s the pilot. "
What simple, child-like trust! And, dear Reader, in reality, that’s the same type of trust we should have in the Heavenly Father. Truly, He’s a sparrow-watching, hair-counting, tear-catching God and loves us very, very much (Matthew 6:25-34; 10:29-31; Psalm 56:8).
Therefore, place your trust in Him today, knowing He loves you and has promised to "never leave you or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b; Ps. 46:1). That way you’ll not succumb to fear when everything’s falling apart. And, when others ask how you can be so calm, cool and collected, you can reply "Oh, my Daddy’s the Pilot."
NOTE:If you would like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily email devotional, entitled "Morning Manna," you can write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or email him at email@example.com.