Fear is a very common and a natural emotion. It protects us in times of danger. It can be evident when we dread a current or coming event. Fear can be the result of something we do not understand. The opposite could be true in which we know too much. Fear is likely prevalent if our perceptions are distorted. Fear can be experienced individually or with others.
Even those who knew Jesus the best experienced fear. When they saw him walking on the water toward them, they thought he was a ghost and were very much afraid. The very fact that some people found themselves in his presence made them afraid such as after his resurrection.
When Jesus warned us about the final coming events facing the world, he said that men’s hearts will fail them because of fear concerning for what was to come on the earth as the very powers of heaven would be shaken.
It is spiritually healthy when thinking about God. He is so magnificent and powerful that it is rightly so to consider being fearful in his presence.
For some people, fear is their primary emotion. They walk through life in a state of fear, not by what is but by what could be. These people experience anxiety. They have an uncertainty about life. In some cases, they become controlling over their environment and people close to them as a means to avoid the unexpected.
Jesus made a point to encourage people not to be afraid. His reasoning was to replace fear with faith. Since we do not know the outcome of fear, faith is highly important to counteract what we could experience. Often Jesus told people not to be afraid. Likewise, Jesus often told people to have faith. He was not talking about the type of faith in some vague principle, or mysterious individual. Jesus was talking about having faith in himself and the Heavenly Father.
It is certain that we cannot have fear and faith at the same time. Jesus presented it as an option to select faith instead of fear. Faith is an investment. It is a dynamic. Faith is an expression of confidence. It is a declaration. It is an asset in our own well-being. Jesus challenged people’s thinking by asking where their faith was.
Dealing with fear is an upward step in spiritual maturity when we challenge it with faith. Even though fear is a human instinct, to overcome it with faith is a step beyond what is to be. Jesus explained the lack of necessity for fear since God knows the very number of hairs we have on our head. He went further to say as God cares for the sparrows, we have more reason not to be afraid because he values us higher that the sparrows.
Often Jesus spoke of others in tender terms such as calling them little flock. When a ruler of a synagogue came to Jesus because his daughter had died, Jesus told the man not to fear but only believe.
If faith is so important, if it is so significant, what is faith? Hebrews 11: l answers that question by saying, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Notice that this description says that faith is the substance as if it were a material matter. It is a something! Therefore, it is evidentiary as it would be presented in the courtroom by saying to the judge, “See, this is proof. I hold before you that which is a validating fact.”
It is not a simple matter of saying, “I’m not going to be afraid; I will have faith.” To have faith is to have confidence on a divine level. It is that which we carry in our spiritual pockets every day, not that which we manufacture for the moment.
I conclude this article with the words of Jesus when he said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”