Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How To Overcome Needless Fear?

          Quite a few Christians are consumed by needless fear. I don’t think we need a definition of needless fear since the term is quite self-explanatory. And this very term (needless fear) implies that fear is unnecessary in a Christian life.

            But this is easier said than done. Christians (not all, but some) are consumed by needless fear. Although some of them know that this fear is absolutely unnecessary in their life, many do not know how to eliminate this fear from their life.

            If you are consumed by needless fear, you may not be able to lead a normal life. Hence, you could complicate your life, if you do not know how to deal with your fear. And your life could get worse and unmanageable (depending on the intensity of this fear). So I pray that a few relevant spiritual thoughts would help end this unnecessary fear.

            Before we jump into the spiritual realm of this theme, let us momentarily consider the solutions offered by science.

            Anxiety disorders could be a broad synonym for needless fear. Panic attacks, fear of being judged, embarrassed or ridiculed, and fear of heights (flying in an airplane) are some instances of anxiety disorders.

            If you are prone to anxiety disorders, you may not be able to sleep well or you could be nauseous, dizzy, cold and sweaty, and you will not be able to remain calm. These are certain symptoms of anxiety disorder.1

            Treatments for anxiety disorders range from antidepressants, anxiolytics, and psychotherapy. The effectiveness of these treatments is largely subjective (every patient would respond differently to these treatments).

            This is as far as my comprehension about the scientific intervention to anxiety disorder goes.

            Now let’s get to the spiritual realm of needless fear.

            The Bible narrates a few instances of needless fears. Let’s consider an example from the Old and the New Testament.

            Prophet Elisha’s servant was in needless fear when he saw the army of King Aram (2 Kings 6:8-23). But Elisha asked his servant to not fear, for he knew that God’s protection was active and that his servant was in needless fear, “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (v15-17, NIV).

            The disciples were in needless fear when they were in a boat with the Lord, “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”” (Mark 4:35-41).

            Unfortunately, God’s power is not experienced so directly by those in fear today. Our spiritual eyes, in most instances, will not be opened to see God’s armies surrounding us when we are in fear. Christ is also not with us in HIS incarnational form, as HE was with HIS disciples then, to annihilate our fear once and for all. So, many of us find ourselves in lonesome and vulnerable situations when we fear.

            It’s quite clear from the biblical narratives that Christians should not be slaves to needless fear. That’s why Charles Wesley wrote this hymn, “Away, My Needless Fears:”

             Away my needless fears,
And doubts no longer mine;
A ray of heavenly light appears,
A messenger divine.

Thrice comfortable hope,
That calms my troubled breast;
My Father's hand prepares the cup,
And what he wills is best.

If what I wish is good,
And suits the will divine;
By earth and hell in vain withstood,
I know it shall be mine.

Still let them counsel take
To frustrate his decree,
They cannot keep a blessing back
By heaven designed for me.

Here then I doubt no more,
But in his pleasure rest,
Whose wisdom, love, and truth, and power,
Engage to make me blest.

To accomplish his design
The creatures all agree;
And all the attributes divine
Are now at work for me.

           Charles Wesley knew that apart from God, we cannot overcome our needless fear.

           Easier said than done!

           Legendary yesteryear preacher, Charles Spurgeon, specified the reasons that cause needless fears in Christians.2 Christians suffer from needless fear because they have already succumbed to one or many of these fears:

a.      Fear of man.

b.      Fear that the truth of Christianity may be destroyed by the opposing forces.

c.      Fear of losing their salvation.

d.      Fear of imminent poverty (adversity) striking them.

e.       Fear of death.

            Spurgeon echoes the Bible when he says that all these fears are unjustifiable. Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:37-39). If Christians believe this, they will not fear needlessly.

             If Christians realize that God is in absolute control of their lives (and that nothing unpleasant can happen in their lives without HIS permission), they would not fear needlessly. This is a mandatory condition in a Christian’s life, according to Spurgeon.

             None can curse those whom God has blessed; this is stated in the Bible (cf. Numbers 23:23). When Martin Luther was summoned by the Roman Catholic leaders, his friends were afraid for him to go. But Spurgeon recollects Luther’s response, “If all the demons in hell could fill your house, and seek to injure you, there is no need for you to fear or tremble more than Martin Luther did when his friends were afraid for him to go and be examined by the Roman Catholic leaders who were trying to get him to recant, but Luther said to his friends, “If there were as many devils there as there are tiles on the roofs of the houses, I would face them all in the name of God.” And you may say the same. If all the armies of the earth came against you, and all the demons in hell, had come up to join with the world against you, you could still say, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge;” and charge them in the name of the Most High, and cause all of them to flee in defeat, because the One who is in you is greater than the ones who are against you [1 John 4:4].”3 (Emphasis Mine).

            Science states that anxiety disorder is a mental disorder. According to the Bible, those who fear needlessly are in a state of bondage. The Lord Jesus Christ offers the only viable solution to all those who suffer from fear, which is to pray, pray and pray more without ceasing (cf. Mark 9:29).

            Pray that God will fill you with HIS peace when you are in fear, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).

            God says this to us, “Why do you forget the Lord, who made you, who stretched out the sky and founded the earth? Why do you constantly tremble all day long at the anger of the oppressor, when he makes plans to destroy? Where is the anger of the oppressor? The one who suffers will soon be released; he will not die in prison, he will not go hungry. I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves surge. The Lord who commands armies is his name! I commission you as my spokesman; I cover you with the palm of my hand, to establish the sky and to found the earth, to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”” (Isaiah 51:13-17, NET).





Cited websites were last accessed on 5th December 2017.

1 comment:

Grace Of God said...

Message of the Lord Jesus Christ to His Beloved humankind. 29April18.
Beloved children of My Sacred Heart, Consecrate yourselves to Me as soon as possible, the war begins shortly and if you don´t Consecrate yourselves to Me I Will not be able to rescue you as My people. Love You, Your Jesus.
Amen, Amen, Alleluia.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
Glory to God Omnipotent, Omnipresent in the Eucharist.
Beloved Be The Eternal Father forever, for ever
of the centuries.
Amen, Alleluia, Amen.