by Carol Sikma
A lovely Christian girl told me of her getting a good job at a local hospital. She had gone to school for this specialized position and now had found an opening in this field. As we talked, she expressed a fear. The job was scheduled from 3:00 to 12:00 at night after which she had to drive home alone at night quite a long distance. She knew that I had worked in a hospital one time and also had to work this shift. Hoping to alleviate some of her fear, I told her what I had done.
When I went to work, it was not of my choosing. My husband asked me to find work to help financially as he could not find work. So I did not feel this was something I should not be doing. I trusted God to take care of me. However, I worked with people who did not place their faith in God, and I often heard them express their fears of being out alone at night. After thinking about what they were saying, I found myself experiencing unnecessary fears. I determined to find a way to enjoy the time I could be alone at night.
First, I made sure the everyday, practical things were ready when I left the building at night. My coat was buttoned, and my purse and packages were carefully in one hand; my car key was in the opposite hand to unlock the car as soon as I got to it.
I tried to walk out of the building with others who were getting off at the same time. This did not mean that I was still not alert for anything that would jeopardize my safety.
Once in the car, I locked the door and started the car immediately. If the car gave me any trouble, I wanted to know that before anyone left the parking lot.
I played music tapes in the car for a calming effect. Purposing to focus my mind on Christ, I thought about what His Word said to me. A verse that gave me security was Psalm 18:11a which says, “He made darkness his secret place.”
Fears can keep us from enjoying the freedom we have in Jesus. In the midst of our faith, we may have difficulty trusting God.
- Fear of failure. This can keep a person from doing, trying and succeeding. The road to success is filled with failures, mistakes and embarrassments. Dr. Hyles said, “Failure is the back door to success.” A fear of failure can sometimes show itself as perfectionism and workaholism. Until this fear is conquered, the gifts and talents God has given will not be used or can cause us to be obsessive about everything we do.
- Fear of rejection. Other people can control us because of this fear. Because we all want to be accepted and liked, we may find ourselves doing things that we really don’t want to do or should not do. This allows other people to have undue influence on our lives.
- Fear of financial ruin. Is money or a lack of it a fear that bombards you? “Will I lose my job?” “From where will our money come?” “How will the bills be paid?” When a person acts on those feelings of fear rather than on God’s Word, the result can cause bad decisions and useless anxieties.
- Fear of being alone. Many people fear being alone even to the point of marrying the wrong person. Sometimes this could mean settling for inconsiderate and even harmful treatment just to avoid being single. If you are struggling with the fear of being single, that fear needs to be dealt with as it will become stronger and may cause you to make a devastating mistake.
How to Face Fears
The place to start is verbalizing your fear to God. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9) When we do, it will give us courage to face our worst fears.
Go to God’s Word, and find a promise. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) The Word of God can be trusted to have an answer.
If financial failure is your fear, read Matthew 6:25-26 which says, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink: nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
If failing is your fear, read Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Do you have a fear of rejection? “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24b) “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)
God will give you a passage of Scripture to claim, but you must look for it. Write it out. Put it in various places. Memorize it and meditate on it all day.
Victory over fears is available. I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” We may love Jesus a lot, but fear reveals areas where love for Him is not strong enough. Focus your thoughts on Him, spend time in His presence, and know His Word better. Letting yourself think about the fear will take the place of thinking about Jesus. When you focus on yourself, you will spend less time in His Word. This just makes things worse and destroys the faith.
So confess the fear, find Scripture to counteract your fears, and focus on Jesus more perfectly. Truth sets you free. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Jesus is Truth. Then the freedom He intended for you will be yours!