The Power of Fear


As I was making my reservations to come to Africa to see Emma and do some work for IVO.Global, I looked to see what day September 11th would be.  I just wasn’t sure I wanted to be gone during it.  But circumstances really necessitated the travel dates for now and so I went ahead and planned my trip.

Oddly enough, it feels weird being out of the United States on the anniversary of September 11th.  My heart has been remembering and praying leading up to it.  Fourteen years have passed and yet we remember like it was yesterday.

It’s interesting that in the stages of grief, sometimes people attempt to force those who have lost someone to “move on” and “get over it”…but thankfully most Americans have given each other permission to remember.  To allow that day to be held with respect and honor.  And yes to feel.  The heroes.  The loss.  The horrific pain.  The grief.  And yes, the terror.

America as we knew it would never be the same again and each of us who were alive during it, would never be the same either.

And to be quite honest, being someone who has struggled with being a slave to fear, the reality of September 11th could put me right back in that fear-filled place I once lived in.   And actually isn’t that the goal of terrorism?  To strike terror in our hearts so we are controlled by fear? 

But as I thought about September 11th, I was studying my Bible and the Lord directed me to this verse:twin-towers-1447829

“Have no fear of sudden disaster…”   Proverbs 3: 25, 26


And when I read that verse, the Lord’s peace flooded my soul.  I mean, completely flooded it.  Cause face it,  the opportunity is always around us to live in fear.  To wallow in it.  To crumble under the weight of it.

But we have a choice.  And it’s that easy:  “Have no fear…”

Which boils down to the fact that we will either trust the Lord.  Or not.  It’s that simple.  He is not a ticket to freedom from heartache and pain.  Not at all.  But He is the peace in and through it.  And we must intentionally choose to give Him our fears, our burdens and our cares knowing that He is completely trustworthy.

Even when life takes turns we didn’t expect.

Not too long ago I was talking to a precious friend of mine.  She was mentioning how she is tired of being fear-filled and a constant worrier.


Having “been there” for many years until I was set free in 1980, I completely understand how debilitating it is to be filled with fear day in and day out.

I asked my friend, “Of all the things you are most worried about, after spending large amounts of time worrying and being fear filled about them, in the end what can you change?”

She admitted, not one thing.  So I continued, “If you can’t change anything, then you are wasting your time on fear and you are not functioning at the top of your game because of being so filled with fear and worry.”

She had to agree!  As it turns out, a situation that had been consuming her in fear for days, was proved to be nothing the very next day.  She commented that I had been right.  She had wasted days worrying about something that was nothing.

And so it is with the attempts at fear gaining control in our lives.   We cannot serve Christ well when we are consumed with fear and worry.  Fear is actually telling Christ, “You aren’t capable of taking care of this, you need me to worry and figure it out.”

How silly!

The God of the Universe is completely trustworthy and He’s got the plan!! He encourages us to bring our worries, fear, concerns, and anxious thoughts to Him.  He promises in it’s place to give us each HIS peace…which is really the only way to live!

One of my very most favorite verses, which I memorized about 40 years ago and have said thousands of times when fear wanted to overpower me:

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”  Isaiah 26:3

Hiding God’s word in our hearts is the ticket to freedom, peace and unmatched joy!  Memorize it with me!!

11 thoughts on “The Power of Fear

  1. Amen to all of this! I have found that not being consumed by fear can be work- it’s a choice I have to make to focus on my Savior instead of the problem and it’s not always easy. But I’m able to live life more fully when I make the hard choice!

    1. It is SOOOO much work at times! And I have had to go back to the steadfast promises of God and remind myself of His past faithfulness to know that He really can be trusted with whatever situation it is that I am struggling in fear over!

  2. YES! Just the words I needed to read. I am learning to stop and remind myself in the heat of a situation that someday the perceived mountain in my path will be just a distant memory. Thank you for always encouraging your readers in truth.

  3. My husband used to say, “If your worry bucket isn’t full, then something was wrong!” I always worried about everything. In 2002 God redeemed me and that was the first precious gift He gave me. He took my worries away. Seriously like almost immediately! I’m still not completely worry free, but when worry does crop up I’m able to talk it through, give it to the Lord and let it go relatively quickly. Life is WAY better!! Ha!

  4. You have no idea how timely this is. Tomorrow is Rosh Hashana, and next week Yom Kippur, when our synagogue will be full of probably 2000 people. Just a few weeks ago I heard from a fellow-congregant who is working as a security adviser that while the big urban synagogues tend to have metal bars and tight security, a suburban one like ours is considered a “soft target” and the likelihood is high that some will be attacked in the next few years.

    Like you I struggle with “feeling safe” so you can imagine what this means to me. I am going. I will not allow threats to define me. Yet I’m stunned that I even have to have this on my radar, and to worry about my loved ones’ safety. I can’t believe that while less than 20 years ago I read in a book, “Anti-Semitism is at an all-time low, and diminishing further,” now it is on the upswing and getting worse and worse all the time. It’s truly shocking and frightening.

    But your verses, are so beautiful, and so true, and they reminded me that on two separate occasions when I was at services wondering “Should I really be here? I have a young child….,” they passed out a paper with Psalm 27 on it: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?”

    And this morning when I finished my morning prayers, I suddenly had the urge to sing “Adon Olam”, which is a 15th century hymn with a catchy modern tune. When I got to the end I realized that the last line of the song is the saying I always hang onto – and which I had special-order-embroidered in Hebrew on my tallit (prayer shawl): “Adonai li, v’lo ira” – “G-d is with me, and I will not fear.” Timely indeed!

    1. It grieves my soul that anti-semitism is on the rise. There is no doubt! I know that scripture tells us that we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem – which we do…and you know Penny how, as a young girl most of my friends were Jewish. I loved them so much and I loved all the traditions and little songs I learned. Back when I was a girl in our elementary school we learned so much of Jewish traditions and I am so thankful. I will pray for you and loved ones safety – and I pray also that you know HIS peace! Much love from Uganda!!

  5. ….aaannnndd guess what we ended with today? Yes, Adon Olam. 🙂 So those were the last words of the whole 2.5 hour Rosh Hashana service. It seems Someone is trying to tell me something. )

  6. I don’t know if I have ever shared this here but I have a fear story too.

    I can’t even remember what I was fearing at the time (I think it’s written in my journal) but it was about 8 – 9 year ago now. I was praying and explaining to the Lord how I felt this fear was like a wall, a large rock wall, thick and high. Too high to climb and too strong to break through. I asked the Lord to help me to break through it or help me climb over it, that I knew he could do it. I could see the wall in mind’s eye as I was praying, could almost feel its rough surface.

    Do you know what God did? In my mind’s eye I was picked up, like a small child and lifted high, high into the air over the wall and set safely on the other side where there was a path and trees to the forest, miles and miles of forest and a path before me, the wall behind me. And the fear? Gone. Gone with the wall behind me. A peace that I can’t describe replaced it.

    Viewing the wall in my mind a few days later, I asked the Lord why he lifted me over and did not help me climb it or break it down? He told me that if I had climbed it, I would climb back to the other side and visit fear when life got tough. If He had helped me break through or dig a hole in the side, I would again, go back to the other side and live with fear instead of with the love and confidence that he gave me by putting fear behind me.

    I revisit that wall in my mind sometimes. Sometimes it’s in the distance and sometimes I go close and touch it’s rough, rocky surface knowing that fear is locked on the other side. I have been tempted to tell God I was fearful of something but then the wall is there, a constant reminder that it’s conquered, defeated. I have not been that fearful since that day. Other emotions come and go but not as strong, and sometimes they try to bring in fear with them but do not succeed. The wall stands strong and tall.

    1. Oh friend!! I love this story {and no, I don’t think you’ve ever shared it before}! What a powerful encounter with the Lord you had!! He loves us so to meet us right where we are at!! And no wonder you have confidence not to want to ever visit fear again. Thank you so much for sharing!!! xo

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