Fear

FFF 6:7 (July 1960)

Fear

Donald Norbie

Rumours are going around at the factory. There will likely be some lay-offs; work is slow. A young man begins thinking. Will he be one of those laid off? He has little money saved, little in reserve. How quickly his family will go through that! Work is scarce everywhere; unemployment benefits are small. What will happen to his family? Fear!

A woman lies on her hospital bed. It is early in the morning; the sky is just beginning to gray. She has aroused early and lies there thinking. In a short while she knows a spotlessly white nurse will give her a pill. Drowsiness will begin to settle upon her. Later comes a hypo — how she has come to hate that needle! Things will begin to seem fuzzy and unreal; it is such a peculiar, unearthly feeling. Later comes the final anaesthetic.

Then before long the surgeon’s knife will begin to cut. The living tissue will be laid bare. Little ugly fears chase across her mind like misshapen gnomes playing a devilish game. Maybe the doctor will make a mistake .. . maybe she will never be well again … Maybe, maybe, maybe … Fear!

Worry and fear are fierce enemies of the soul. They can beat down a strong man until he is a broken, sniveling coward, unwilling and unable to face life. The world is filled with terrible fears today.

The believer is not to worry and to fear. Worry only saps the Christian’s strength and lowers his spiritual resistance to evil. Worry is sin. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).

The Christian should be a person with a radiant faith in the living God, unmoved by the storms of fear that sweep this poor world. He knows God.

Reasons Why it is Wrong to Fear

Most fears do not materialize. Has the reader ever noticed how few of his worries ever come into being? Our imaginations are too fertile! “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1).

Most worries are over food and material needs. These are not the most important things in life. Be concerned for the things that are eternal. “Take no thought (‘be not anxious’) 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” (Matt. 6:25)?

Worry will not change circumstances. A sleepless night spent in anxiety over the future never altered the circumstances. Fear is a fruitless exercise of soul. “Which of you with taking thought (‘by being anxious’) can add to his stature one cubit? If then ye be not able to do that which is least, why take ye thought for the rest” (Luke 12:2526)?

God does not burden believers with circumstances beyond their strength. He is like a wise mountaineer who never overloads his pack train. From experience He knows just how much each one can carry. Thus our God with loving hands arranges and loads life’s circumstances for the believer. “For every man shall bear his own burden (‘load’ )” (Gal. 6:5). “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

God loves His children dearly. A heart realization of the great love of God cleanses the heart of fear and doubt. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Rom. 8: 32)? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

The God who delivered His Son to the cross of Calvary is the God whose almighty hand permits every circumstance in the believer’s life. How can we, knowing this, fear and doubt?

The believer’s resource when hounded by fear and anxiety is prayer. It is impossible to pray and to worry at the same time. Prayer is the floodgate that allows the peace of Heaven to flood the soul. With its flooding waters of love it sweeps from the soul ugly doubts and vicious fears, defiling thoughts all of them. It leaves one enjoying the calm of Heaven itself. “Be careful (‘anxious’) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep ( `garrison’) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).

“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).