by Tim Howard
Is fear good or bad? My answer to that question would be both!
There are definitely times and things that should trigger a healthy fear, which in turn should cause a person to flee the scene. If bullets are flying around – it’s wisdom to run for cover and if you ever encounter a vicious bear on the loose – A retreat may be the best option.
The Fight-or-Flight response that resides within all of us needs to be trained because fear might be based upon a ‘perceived threat’ rather than a ‘real threat.’ When this happens we may run when we should stand our ground or vice-versa, we may stand firm and remain steadfast when we should hightail it for a safe place.
Discernment is the key!
Knowing what to do in any given situation is not always as easy as it sounds!
I recently had our staff take an ‘Active Shooter’ class presented by our wonderful Sheriff’s Department in Kings County, which gave us wisdom and insight on knowing when to run and when to fight. One key point we gleaned was: ‘To have this discernment, one must be governed by something higher than fear.’
When the army of Israel was running and hiding from Goliath because of fear – David, the first King of Israel stood firm against insurmountable odds because of his faith in God.
Faith in God is the antidote to fear. Jesus drew the connection between fear and faith when He said: “ Why are you afraid – oh you of little faith.” In other words: If you are governed by great fear, you will have little faith but if you are governed by great faith you will have little fear.
Fear has to be broken – It must not be allowed to rule because it is shortsighted. Like our emotions – fears are valid but they don’t provide a good foundation for good decisions
David said: “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Ps 34:4 David refused to allow his fears to trump his faith. If a person follows his example – he or she will not act upon what they want to do when fear comes but what God wants them to do.
Fear Not – is a phrase used upwards to 150 times in the Bible and it admonishes all of us to break the power of fear. The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus came to break fear’s hold on us so we could rise up in faith.
I wonder if any of you, who are reading this article are living a life founded upon fear – running from things when you should be standing firm. Are there any ‘Pink Elephants’ in your life that you aren’t focusing on because you fear what might happen if you actually expose it for what it really is? Is it fear that causes you to procrastinate, ignore or even deny the reality of some aspect in your life? If so:
Don’t allow fear to be your guide throughout life – Fear will too often cause you to run when you should stand and if you are running you’re probably looking for a place to hide.
I encourage you to make the decision I made years ago.
I will rise up in faith today and in all my days and in all my ways I will seek the Lord. If you make that decision: Faith will supersede fear and you will have the discernment needed when fear knocks on your door.