The Problem With Fear

Posted on February 11, 2008
by John Paul Jackson

The problem with fear is that if you look hard enough, you will always find something to convince you that your fear is real — it just might happen. I’ve said it before: What you focus on, you make room for. This is especially true where your fears are concerned. If you think about it . . . it could happen. Not because you thought about it, but because it literally could happen. You could be in a car accident and die — it could happen. Aliens could invade; we don’t have tangible proof that they don’t exist. You could contract some horrible disease and have to live in confinement for the rest of your life — it’s happened before. Yes, you might be mugged when you leave your house, and yes, you might find a brown recluse in your bathroom tonight. A piano could fall out of the sky and crush you — it literally could! You might just happen to be exactly when and where you need to be when the movers’ rope snaps, and the piano falls smack on your head. It could happen. Let me repeat: Fear exists because there is the slight possibility that what you fear could happen, no matter how far-fetched. If there was no possibility of it happening, then most of us wouldn’t be afraid. But the problem is, it could happen! And that’s where we get in trouble. The enemy wants nothing more than to make us trembling and fearful, because then he’s won. If we allow “what if” questions to plague us, they will.

• “What if my deepest fear happens to me?”

• “What if I lose my job?”

• “What if I lose everything?”

• “What if God doesn’t come through for me this time?”

• “What if He’s doing this to me to teach me a lesson?”

• “What if I don’t measure up?”

• “What if — anything?” Relief from fear really comes down to one, simple thing: STOP IT.

What does God say about worry? Don’t (Matthew 6). What does God say about fear? Don’t (Isaiah 41). If you focus on whether or not you really have something to be afraid of, you’ll find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something to fear, you’ll find it. But God does not say, “Look around. Look real good. Make sure you have nothing to be afraid of, and then trust Me.” No, instead He says, very simply, “Don’t be afraid. Just don’t be, because I’m with you” (Isaiah 41). This battle that people have with fear really doesn’t have much to do with whether or not the fear exists. It has everything to do with trust. Today, do you make the decision to trust your Father? Because sometimes, that’s the best we can do. When we’re staring down the barrel of a loaded fear, sometimes all we can say is, “God, I have no idea what’s going on here, but I choose to trust You. I choose to believe that You’re guiding my steps, even though I feel completely lost. I choose to believe that You are good.” And it’s in those moments that Heaven rejoices. It’s in those moments that God takes your face in His hands and says, “Hold on, son. Hold on, daughter. You will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.” Don’t allow the enemy to push you around with “what if” questions. God has conquered him, and he has no authority in your life except what you give him. Keep that in mind the next time he presents you with a “what if.”