If God is good and loving (and He is), and if God is all-powerful (and He is), and if God has a purpose and a plan that include His children (and He does), and if we are His children (as I hope you are), then there is no reason to fear anything, for God is in control of everything.
I know—that’s good theology, and you probably believe it. But you still have fears and apprehensions and a hollow place in the pit of your stomach, either sometimes or all the time. The great author Edith Wharton once said that she didn’t believe in ghosts, but she was afraid of them.
It’s one thing to know something with the mind, and another to believe it with the heart.
How do you help a little child face her fear of the darkness? First you appeal to the mind. You turn on the light and show her there’s nothing scary in the room. Then you help her attune her heart to what her mind has accepted.
This is the process of faith, for all of us. We accept that God is in control, and on that basis, we shift our burdens to His perfect shoulders. But what about our shaky future? Pessimism doesn’t work, because it’s another form of mental enslavement. Optimism confidently into an unknown future is to stake everything on the
power and goodness and faithfulness of God.
To understand why God is the answer to all our fears, we must understand what the Bible says about fear. And it says a lot. It tells us more than three hundred times not to fear. “Fear not” is its most frequently repeated command.
The word afraid occurs more than two hundred times, and fear more than four hundred. And lest you think our Bible heroes were fearless, more than two hundred individuals in Scripture are said to have been afraid. And not all these were the “bad guys”; many were the main characters—David, Paul, Timothy, and others.
Biblical heroes were regular people who had to learn the same things you and I have to learn—
To drive out fear by increasing their knowledge of God, to shift their focus from their present fear to the eternal God, to replace what they didn’t know about the future with what they did know about Him. They had to put away childish things (being afraid of everything) and grow up in their faith and understanding.
I wrote this book because I see fear as a real and present danger in the body of Christ. Many Christians are not living lives free of fear, and there can be serious consequences when fear is not removed. Author and educator Neil T. Anderson writes,
Fear is a thief. It erodes our faith, plunders our hope,
steals our freedom, and takes away our joy of living the
abundant life in Christ. Phobias are like the coils of a
snake—the more we give in to them, the tighter they
squeeze. Tired of fighting, we succumb to the temptation
and surrender to our fears. But what seemed like an
easy way out becomes, in reality, a prison of unbelief—
a fortress of fear that holds us captive.
Read more of Dr. David Jeremiah’s new book in What are You Afraid Of? – Part I
Dr. David Jeremiah serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. He is the founder and host of Turning Point, a ministry committed to providing Christians with sound Bible teaching relevant to today’s changing times through radio and television, the Internet, live events, and resource materials and books. A bestselling author, Dr. Jeremiah has written more than forty books, including Captured by Grace, Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World, What in the World Is Going On?, The Coming Economic Armageddon, and God Loves You—He Always Has. He Always Will.
Dr. Jeremiah’s commitment to teaching the complete Word of God continues to make him a sought-after speaker and writer. His passion for reaching the lost and encouraging believers in their faith is demonstrated through his faithful communication of biblical truths.
A dedicated family man, Dr. Jeremiah and his wife, Donna, have four grown children and eleven grandchildren.
Learn more about Dr. David Jeremiah here