handling fear Fear is an interesting reaction. If you look the word up on the Internet, you will find quotes about it from everyone from world leaders, celebrities and famous business icons to your average blogger, all making it clear: No one of us is immune to fear no matter what role or place we serve in society.

Fear has stymied all of us at one time or another. It has either paralyzed us from taking action when we should have acted, or propelled us to take action when we should have remained still. Therefore, if fear appears to be embedded in the human DNA, how exactly do we handle it?

The world tells us to simply show no fear; pretend it doesn’t exist or exhibit behavior that displays calm or confidence in your abilities. But how far will this mindset take us? It’s just a matter of time before fear — despite all efforts to ignore it — finds a way to manifest itself in health-related issues, broken relationships and other calamities.

fear-jesus-is-lord

No, the true way to deal with fear is not disguising it so we can somehow “trick” ourselves into believing that the dangers or concerns we face aren’t real, or that we have some hidden power that if just released would allow us to conquer anything that comes our way.

The real and only way to deal with fear is to confront it head-on through a biblical approach. All throughout the Bible — Old and New Testaments alike — we find verses in which God tells His people to not be afraid, not because their fears are unfounded, but because He is with them and will help them through their trials. God doesn’t mock our anxieties. He says cast them on Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

Feeling a little fearful? Consider these steps:

  • Pray — Be sincere before God about what is worrying you.
  • Listen — Be willing to hear from God through scripture reading and counsel from godly leaders, friends and family members.
  • Obey — Follow through on what the Lord is telling you, even if it goes against your natural inclinations; be willing to step into the unknown if that’s what He calls you to do.
  • Remember — Take time to reflect on a time in which God pulled you through a difficult situation. Then ask yourself what makes your current situation any different than the previous one.
  • Trust — You don’t have all the answers or know what the future holds. Only God does. Rely on His promises and not your own understanding.

The cure for fear? I’m afraid there isn’t one. Fear has been with us since the fall of man, but the encouraging news is that it doesn’t have to rule our lives.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you. — Isaiah 43:5 (NIV)

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    Mark is Senior Vice President of Global Program at Compassion International.

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