After Adam and his wife, Eve, sinned against God, they found that they were naked. So, they hid themselves. Then,
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was AFRAID because I was naked; so I hid.”” Genesis 3:8-10 (capitalization is mine for the sake of making emphasis)
This was the first time that “fear” entered our universe. Sin opened the door for fear to come and make this universe its abode.
After that, we all fear. We fear tomorrow, we fear death, we fear the uncertainty of life in general, we fear exam, you name it. We fear! Our fears can be rational or irrational. But the truth is we all fear. The intensity of our fears may differ from person to person depending on many factors, such as, our gender (women fear more than men), background (childhood) history and many other factors.
By the way, fear and anxiety are not the same. Fear is somehow a natural reaction (natural for this fallen world). When we see a snake, we fear and our body will automatically be in the “fight or flight” mode (acute stress response mode where our heartbeat increases, pupils dilate, etc) which helps us to figure out the quick way out from the fearful and dangerous situation.
Anxiety, on the other, is thinking that we may see a snake on our way home. These are all about the “what ifs,” scary thoughts that wreck our lives. When nothing helps to stop these anxious thoughts, feelings and emotions, it is good to seek medical and professional help. And I am not here to talk about this kind of problem. So, keep that in mind.
So, when it comes to fear, that we all deal with in our lives, guess what? The Bible says, “Do not fear!” Don’t you love that! I do.
Some Bible scholars claim that there are at least 365 “Do not fear” verses in the Bible. That means, we have one “Do not fear” message from God for each day. Isn’t that fantastic? It is, at least for me who tends to fear spiders, crickets, raccoons, losing loved ones, and more.
So, the one best book I found to be so helpful and want to recommend to all of you is “Anxious for Nothing” by Max Lucado.
I did recommend this particular book on this page a couple years ago but I think, I should recommend it every year. It helps me so much that I always find myself reading it. So far, without any exaggeration, I think I read it three times and heard it via Amazon Audible probably more than five times and I am still reading/listening to this fantastic book.
Pastor John MacArthur wrote a book with the same title. I bought this book and read it too but I didn’t find it as helpful as Max Lucado’s book. Note: This is my personal opinion. I love MacArthur very much and I learned from his many books and sermons and I will continue to learn from him but when it comes to fear and anxiety, I think, he had no personal experience with them. I understand. But Lucado, he wrote it out his person experience and his messages resonated with me very much. And I sometimes feel like he had to dedicate it to me: Missy Banko, because I feel like he is speaking to me.
Anyways, I love this book and I benefited from it greatly and I am still learning and getting benefited from it.
When I say I love a book, just know that the book is full of the Holy Spirit; and this book, let me tell you. It is the Holy Spirit who is speaking through each pages (my personal opinion). Just read it please. You won’t regret. I promise!
At the end, let me say this:
My friends, we shouldn’t go anywhere to hear God’s “Do not fear” message. The Bible is the Spoken word of God! What we need is to find our comfort and “Do not fear” message from the Bible.
And suffering is a promise to us who follow Christ and live in this broken and dark world:
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him” Philippians 1:29
And guess what? God promised us to be with us, through it all, to the end of our lives:
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matthew 28:20b NASB
So, let’s not look or dream about a “care-free,” or “trouble and suffering-free” life in this dark world. There is none!
And we all need to keep this in mind:
When we fear, God is not going to judge us nor He is saving us from everything that we fear but through it all, He helps us to grow in patience, love, joy, faith and all. ///