There’s something I need to confess to you: I’m (almost) twenty-five years old, and I still get scared of the dark.
And not only the dark, but also being home alone at night, turbulence on airplanes, going new places by myself, nightmares, walking my dog in the dark, and even feeling misunderstood or out of place in social situations. My fears range from anxieties about myself to real (or perceived) dangers that are totally out of my control. (Judging from your response to our post on anxiety earlier this month, you have some of these feelings, too.)
That familiar feeling of being seized and paralyzed by fear—that feeling I thought I would grow out of—has followed me from childhood right into adulthood. While we may grow out of some fears, like creatures who live under our beds, we don’t necessarily “grow out” of other, more real fears, like tragedy striking our homes and loved ones. Fear isn’t an affliction just for kids who need nightlights; fear is a real battle. I’ve fought in that battle year after year for as long as I can remember.
And every year as Halloween rolls around, I tend to get jumpier, more prone to fear. On October 31, our culture revels in creating and experiencing fear. The idea of inviting and welcoming the very thing I’ve fought my entire life stirs up frustration in my soul. Even more, the thought of watching a horror movie makes me want to break Blu-Ray after Blu-Ray into hundreds of pieces. (Thank you, Erin, for tackling this topic in this post!) When commercials for scary movies play during the breaks in the cooking show I’m watching, I close my eyes, plug my ears, and sing to myself. I’m not playing around with the evil that wants to shred my peace.
How to Win the War Against Fear
My heart sinks when I think of all the time I’ve wasted and all the peace I’ve forfeited because I wallowed in that muddy and terror-filled battlefield of fear. But just like any other sin, we find freedom from its chains in Jesus Christ.
He gives us exactly what we need to shatter those chains, whether we’re afraid of the big what-ifs of the future, of spending a night alone, or trick-or-treating clowns. (Yikes!)
It’s in the pages of your Bible, the Word of God. I think we often try to bypass that solution as we wish for a quick fix that vanquishes all fear in one fell swoop. Memorizing Scripture is the Sunday school answer, but isn’t there a sure-fire solution that will erase my fear for good?
I’ve wished for the quick fix before, too. Yet when fear comes knocking—or violently attacking—why would we want anything other than the very Word of the victorious King of kings and Lord of lords? Scripture is the mightiest weapon in the war against fear.
So let’s go there right now.
If you find yourself fighting fear, anxiety, or panic, here are twenty-five reasons to trust your heart and life to your heavenly Father—our always good source of peace and rest.
Twenty-Five Reasons to Fear Not
1. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27)
2. I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears (Ps. 34:4).
3. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them (Ps. 34:7).
4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Ps. 23:4).
5. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isa. 43:1–3; see full passage).
6. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 27:1–3; see full passage).
7. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Ps. 118:6).
8. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (Ps. 56:3–4).
9. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you” (Isa. 41:13).
10. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:18).
11. The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe (Prov. 29:25).
12. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6).
13. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling (Ps. 46:1–3).
14. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety (Ps. 4:8).
15. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9).
16. But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around (Ps. 3:3–6).
17. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught (Prov. 3:24–26).
18. When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul (Ps. 94:18–19).
19. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isa. 41:10).
20. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6–7).
21. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38–39).
22. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Ps. 91:1–2).
24. “What am I supposed to do with my fear and anxiety? I am supposed to hurl it toward the cross. Because in light of the fact that Jesus died in my place and has secured an eternal place for me with Him, all fears—real or imagined—must shrink in significance.” Take a peek at this great True Woman post written by Erin, “A Right Theology of Fear (And Why You Need It).”
25. Get acquainted with my new favorite song. It’s called “Keep the Light On” by Christy Nockels, and it’s been on repeat as I seek freedom from fear.
Make The Swap
We can’t tell fear to take a hike and expect it to stay away unless we replace our fearful and anxious thoughts with the truth found in Scripture. We have to swap out our fears (real or imagined) with something even more powerful. That’s why memorizing verses isn’t a way to simply temporarily trick our minds—it’s all about getting God’s Word into us. So when we’re afraid, we can right straight to the peace-filled, loving words of our kind, sovereign Father.
Leave a comment, and tell me which verse you’re choosing or what you’ve experienced in your own battle against fear.
God is with us, girls. Let’s choose to fight fear—on Halloween, and every single day of the year.