November 2012
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When Fear Creeps In

When my daughter exclaimed, “Mommy, a bug!” I looked where she was pointing and saw the largest spider I have ever encountered outside of a pet shop. Both the spider and I knew that he would not be allowed to stay in our house. And yet, as I faced him, I found I could not take one step closer to end the standoff. My pulse quickened. I swallowed and gave myself a pep-talk. Still, fear kept me frozen in place.

Fear is powerful; it can override logical thinking and produce irrational behavior. Thankfully, Christians don’t have to let fear of anything—people, situations, or even spiders—rule our actions. We can declare, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in [God]” (Ps. 56:3).

Taking this stand against fear is consistent with the Bible’s instruction to “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Our own understanding may lead us to overestimate the object of our fear and underestimate God’s power. When we are afraid, we can depend on God’s understanding (Isa. 40:28) and trust in His love for us that “casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). The next time fear creeps into your life, don’t panic. God can be trusted in the darkness.

Into His hands I lay the fears that haunt me,
The dread of future ills that may befall;
Into His hands I lay the doubts that taunt me,
And rest securely, trusting Him for all. —Christiansen
Trusting God’s faithfulness dispels our fearfulness.