The apostle John wrote:
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. because fear has to do with punishment, and the one fearing has not been perfected in love”
1 John 4:18
The main cause of fear is an excessive concern about one’s self: self-preservation, self-image, what the future holds for one’s ‘self’. Those feelings may not be on the surface, but they are the real cause of fear. If a person is filled with love for someone else, then the focus is away from self and on the other person. The perfect love that comes from Christ should fill our lives. As it does, it crowds out all fear.
There are many kinds of fear. We have different scientific names for them. Some people fear the dark. Some are afraid to go outside. Some fear other people. Others are afraid to be shut up in closed spaces. Some fear heights. Some people have a fear of tunnels. Some are afraid of snakes. Some fear is submerged in the subconscious and manifests itself in psycho-somatic illness, ulcers, headaches, depression, or even paralysis.
Knowledge and experience can help us overcome fear. It seems that we tend to fear the unknown and are comfortable with the familiar. Therefore, people who fear should be gradually exposed in a non-threatening context to the object of their fear.
Even as fear tends to inhibit action and bring paralysis, in like manner, action tends to dispel fear. The psalmist discovered one great weapon against fear when he wrote,
“The Lord is my shepherd … I will fear no evil”
We should remind ourselves over and over that God is all-powerful and that His protection is sufficient for any need.
There is a healthy sort of fear. Like an instinctual fear of fire, electricity, lightning, bullets, & bankruptcy, I think the better word would be to “respect the attributes” of these things, but not fear them. God placed within man a beneficial mobilization technique triggered by fear that marshals his responses in times of danger or need.
But in his letter to the Philippian church, the Apostle Paul writes boldly regarding the true perspective we should grow to adapt:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature
of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
If in our hearts, we revere Christ as Lord, and truly believe that just as He overcame even death, (which is the very root of every fear for self preservation) and was resurrected, that we too shall be raised to reign with Him, then meditating on these things will give us a far more profound sense of our call and duty in this temporary human existence that we fight so anxiously to preserve – to the point of fear.
On the other hand, we must also recognize that some extremes of fear are totally false and may be induced by demons. In these cases, spirits of fear need to be commanded to depart in the name of Jesus.
Perfect love casts out fear. The Word of God sets people free. The person who is victimized by fear should focus on Jesus, on His love, on His power, and should memorize and recite the Word of God, zeroing in on those promises that deal with the hope Christians have in Christ!
Here are a few to encourage your faith:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
But the Lord is faithful, he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one
2 Thessalonians 3:3
Praising the Lord is an excellent antidote to fear. Not only does this rebuke the spirit of fear and Satan who brings it, but it also brings the Christian into the direct presence of God. The psalmist tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people.
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
You are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
We can bind Satan’s power by praise. Out of praise, we will find deliverance from all our fears.