A Culture of Fear
You might be reading this right now and are experiencing fear of some kind. While fear is indeed an unpleasant emotion, you should always remember that without fear there is no need for bravery or courage. If there is no darkness, there can be no light, if no evil, then no good. Those words might sound trite, and when you are afraid it can be hard to remember just how to tap into the courage that can help you be brave surrounded by a culture of fear. So how do you overcome fear? Trusting in God is a good start.
REMEMBER GOD'S PROMISES
The Bible has God telling his followers from beginning to end, time and time again to "fear not," or "be not afraid." Did you ever consider why? It's because we will all experience fear at some point, that's true, but God also tells you over and over again to trust in Him and His promises to help you through fear.
Look up the following Bible verses regarding fear: Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 27:1, and Matthew 10:28.
Simply put: God is always going to be with you, and has promised you that he won't leave you. God tells you to not fear men or the things of this world, but rather to fear Him in a loving and respectful way. But it's easy to forget these comforting truths when engulfed by a culture of fear, fear creeps into your life. However, there is one thing you can always do at any time, and any place, to give you courage when you are afraid.
When fear and doubt come into your life, pray for God's help. It's true that you may not get an immediate answer, and you may not even get instant courage or bravery for that situation right then. So why pray? Because it's a reminder to you that God is the one who is in charge, and not you. He is the one that sees all and knows all, and is fighting your battles for you when you don't always have the strength to fight. Even if you still feel fearful: Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, and God will give you courage, strength and hope.
Furthermore, through fear, God may be showing you something you need to fix or change in your life, and He may not give you the proper courageous ability until you've sought Him in prayer, and asked Him to help you. Don't try and do it yourself. Let God fight your battles for you.
GOD DOESN'T PROMISE US A LIFE FREE OF FEAR
Consider John 16:33: "In the world, you will have tribulation (pressure). But take heart; I have overcome the world."
How interesting. God is telling you that your life will not only NOT be free of fear, but that you can COUNT on tribulation happening. Once again, this is a reminder for you to seek Him in prayer to help you when you are feeling fearful, and to trust that He knows better than you do regarding what you need. The good news is that God has overcome the sin of the world, and that should bring you courage and hope in times of fear.
GOD REFINES HIS FOLLOWERS
Finally, think on these verses:
Isaiah 48:10: "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction."
Acts 14:22: "Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."
You can also look up James 1:12.
The bottom line is: God loves you and wants the best for you. Thus, fear may not be entering your life because God is punishing you, but rather for your own good so you might do His will even better than before. Sometimes God will give you courage immediately, and you can praise Him for it. Other times He may wait because He is refining your trust in Him and you can still praise Him for it. God tests and refines you because He loves you, He wants you to pray to Him for help and courage. He will ultimately carry you far and above the culture of fear in this world to an eternity with Him forever.