Nothing could be more agonizing, more difficult or cumbersome to cope with than the excruciating, negative element of fear. Fear is a survival instinct. It protects us from journeying too far into the unknown. It arouses our senses, speeds up our brain, synapses and brings all the electrons and neutrons into firing on all cylinders. However, fear is autonomic and being autonomic, fear takes on a mind of its own and begins to suddenly control the mind and body. Where fear may serve us in one circumstance, it allows little room for the discipline of reason. Reason is pushed to the side, pupils wide-alert, blood pressure elevated, and the simplest of logic becomes an entangled mass of irrationality.
In the distant past, survival hinged on our ability to escape the lunging bear or other prey that fell before us. Modern urban society presents an entirely different set of fears predicated on personal issues that plague many in phobias of either accomplishment or acceptance.
‘I’m afraid she won’t like me.” One says.
“I’m afraid I won’t get that raise.” Says another individual.
“I doubt I can run fast enough.” States one person and another is afraid of strangers, of a math test, failing a driver’s license test or another is afraid to ask a girl out on a date or to meet a new associate or still, perhaps one is afraid of failing at their business and thus, simply doesn’t try.
Fear and Doubt
It might be argued that fear and doubt are either synonymous or at least causal relatives of each other. Doubting oneself or the circumstances around us is problematic to most, while some are stricken with fear and fail to function completely in imposing predicaments. Some suffer nervous breakdowns whenever internal resolutions are not met in terms of recognized goals and expectations. Doubt once again is established within the mental mind set of the individual, and fear is the outcome with its paralyzing effects.
One component of fear is the overwhelming feeling of panic. Panic and a loss of control are elements that forge the mind to race to resolve internal and external conflicts. When panic controls the mind, all the electrical gates flood the brain, over riding logic and the disturbances create a mental-chemical imbalance in the brain. The acuity and length of the fear source determines the individual’s ability to adjust or to succumb to the situation. Failure to adapt or adjust to the fear results either in a sudden breaking down of the person, or at best, post traumatic shock which has lasting effects.
Not all situations can be controlled. In fact, life experiences demonstrate that most circumstances cannot be controlled. It should be noted, however, our final, deliberate action in relation to the fear is the ultimate judge as to determining circumstances that can or cannot be controlled or changed.
Acting on Our Fears
A key phrase to fear is that most fear requires our deliberate, straight forth action to our fear. Simply put, most fear will not dissipate or go away until we act on the phobia that hinders us. Acting on the fear requires trust.
Perfect love casts out all fear. John 4:18
The perfect love this scripture refers is the love of Christ. Christ’s love for us is perfect. Our love to him should strive toward perfection, not always done, but should strive to that effect. Trust is instrumental to this love for no love can be achieved without the trust.
To overcome the fear of rejection, acceptance or failure, we must trust that our Lord loves us regardless of circumstance. We come to know, to realize there is no success or failure unless it is measured against the standard of God. God’s standard is that as long as we maintain our faith and relation with him, then we are counted unto righteous. That is enough. It is more than pure Gold.
No one said this would be easy
To restate the issue: Perfect love casts out all fear. This is well and good, however, while Christ has perfect love, we don’t. The idea is that we are to trust Christ and his perfect love. His love will make up for the lack we possess as a result of our mortality. In other words, where Christ is perfect and we are not, Christ will make up for our imperfections
Paul states this as such: My grace is sufficient unto thee in thy weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Consequently, we are not fully blessed in our strength, but in our mortal weakness. This means in fear and in total incapacitation of ordinary, physical and mental means. It also means that as a Christian, we really cannot be strong against the world or to our circumstance, but we are or should be strong within our conviction to our Lord. Our strength will quickly fail, and in our weakness, we receive God’s grace.
The action we are to perform is simply to obey the words of Christ, his commandments and to trust his resolution to our every problem. The issue then is no longer our acceptance or rejection to the standards of this world; we only seek the face of God as our sole standard of right or wrong.
Putting it another way: it doesn’t matter if the girl accepts or rejects you. It matters not that we received our raise, or hit the home run, or made an A in school. What matters is our constant relationship with our Lord for whom we rely to resolve our problems. Perhaps ironically, it also means that Christ as sovereign of our lives is able to determine whatever outcome is best. Where we might have thought that having enough money to buy the car of our dreams was important, our master might think otherwise and have even greater things in mind and on his timetable.
Thus, we are to seek comfort from our fears through God. We are to resolve our self in serving God and only God in spite of our fear. We are to step outside our fear and act, acting in trust that God through Christ will eventually act on our circumstance in whatever way intended by His great plan for our lives.
The end result is that we are to confirm through our thoughts, action and speech that we do NOT have control, that we give control over to our Lord and trust Him to perform his perfect will in our lives. Admitting to our lack of control over our circumstances is a major step toward healing in situations that defy logic. Trust in Christ and his Lordship becomes our quest for his love. His love casts out the fear and our fate becomes resolved with our external and internal war that drifted us into chaos in the first place. Maintaining our mission, our pledge to love and serve God remains our only point of focus, and difficult journey for good mental and physical health.