Summary: The recent international pandemic has caused anxiety and fear to run rampant across the world, affecting everyone, the likes of which I have never seen in my lifetime.
The world gives a lot of reasons to justify living in tormenting fear. The unknown ahead of us, and the uncertainty of the future, can be very intimidating. The recent international pandemic has caused anxiety and fear to run rampant across the world, affecting everyone, the likes of which I have never seen in my lifetime.
The Bible tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 Jn 4:18).
Mind over Matter
The Bible promises that God will “keep” you “in perfect peace” when you keep your mind on Him and “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isa 26:3-4 ESV).
The mind affects the body, but the body also affects the mind. When a person reacts in fear, anxiety, worry, or stress, the body secretes chemicals that shut down the part of the brain that finds solutions to problems, as well as preparing the body to die rather than helping it to live. Whether a person feels joy or sorrow, every cell in their body responds to those emotions. Information about what is going on around a person enters the body through the senses.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Rom 12:2 NIV)
When the storms of life come, or when one is chronically stressed, worried, anxious, or depressed – the ultimate root of it all is FEAR! It is one of the greatest tools that the enemy uses to destroy both the unbeliever and the Believer. It has been said that faith is the currency of Heaven, and fear is the currency of Hell. Jesus asked the question, "Why are ye fearful?" (Matt. 8:26)
- Fear is first, and foremost, a God-given emotion that prepares the body and mind to deal with the challenges of life. Fear is controlled through the amygdala, which activates the fear response by bypassing the conscious mind.
- Fear is a feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence of real or imagined danger, evil, or pain from memories of traumatic experiences.
- Fear is not a disease - it is a process of thinking. While the chemistry of the body is set up to react to potential danger, unfounded or irrational fears are something a person allows to have happened. The average person thinks 60,000 thoughts a day, and over 95% of those are the same ones they had yesterday! Thoughts are entirely made up in the mind. Yet, while the experience feels real, it is a false perception.
- Fear can be an intimidator. It causes a person to worry, fret, and to be anxious. It can rob one of confidence and faith. Jesus said that men’s hearts would fail them because of fear (See Luke 21:26).
- Fear can consume a person’s thoughts and keep them from getting anything done. It brings confusion and can lead them into sin. It can cause them to hide, keeping them from interacting and loving others. It can also keep them away from having intimacy with God and serving Him. It can open a door for the enemy to take a stronghold that can cause many physical, emotional, and spiritual problems.
- Fear can paralyze a person and make them incapable of doing things that they should do just as the Israelites who were terrified to leave Egypt (See Ex 13 & 14).
- Fear can cause guilt that is both real and imagined. When a person has done something immoral, unethical, or illegal, they are supposed to feel guilty just as Adam did in the garden after eating the forbidden fruit.
Someone once said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Many are held as prisoners because of fear! Job cried out, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me" (Job 3:25). As a result, they try to take precautions to protect themselves. People buy insurance policies to cover those things they consider valuable. They put bars on their windows and doors. They buy alarm systems to protect their automobiles. They buy deadly weapons for security.
The Scriptures tell us that because of humanity’s stubborn and unrepentant heart; they are “storing up wrath against” themselves “when his righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom 2:5 NIV).
It is the unrepentant and guilty sinner who should be afraid of standing before a holy and righteous God. The consequence of rejecting Jesus, as supreme Lord and Savior, is absolutely terrifying!
The Born-Again Christian is commanded to:
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” (Col 3:5-6 NIV)