That Strange Thing Called Fear

Written by Meredith Pennington

Fear Not! For I write to you today……out of great wisdom. (Not.)

Fear is a dangerous thing in our lives and in the body of Christ. In my own life, I have suffered at the grip of fear from as far back as I can remember. The fear of saying or doing the wrong thing; the fear of imposition; fear of being imperfect; the fear of “what are people going to think about me?”; and the really big one: the fear of being the judgmental Christian.  All of the aforementioned fears in some way somehow have paralyzed me from being who God has fearfully and wonderfully made me to be.

Occasionally, on Thursdays you will catch a post from me, Meredith Pennington. I am married to my best friend Doug, and we have 3 great kiddos…Paul 12, Landen 10, and Ella Bella 8. I truly live for being a mom, but have a passion for decorating, so on any given day, you may find me working on some crazy home project. (Oh, and on a side note, I home school my kiddos.)  No, I am not super mom…it is by the grace of God that I get through each and every day. I believe I’m living proof that God will equip and bless you when he calls you to something, i.e., HOMESCHOOLING.

Back to this fear thing for moment:  I once heard that you could find “Fear Not” in the Bible 365 times, 1 for each day of the year. Although this was comforting to me, this wasn’t exactly correct. According to word, there are about 100 combinations of the phrases “do not be afraid” or “fear not”.

  • King James Version (74 x fear not; 29 x be not afraid)
  • New American Standard Bible:  (4 x fear not; 57 x do not fear; 46 x do not be afraid)

What does this mean for us?????  For me it means: 1 was enough. If he calls me to it, he will walk me through it. One “Fear Not” will cover me in all situations….I do not need a “Fear Not” for each day of the week.  It means I need to stand firm on my faith, remain rooted in truth, and have the confidence to step into situations, knowing the Holy Spirit will not leave me….but instead, will guide me through all situations to the glory of my heavenly father (which is the ultimate goal…RIGHT????)

Easier said than done……I find myself shaking in my boots already, just at the thought of being fearless in all situations. The what-ifs are already creeping into my head…..

What if they don’t like me?

What if they really see who I am?

What if I fail?

What if they are eating dinner when I call?

What if my house isn’t always clean?

What if, what if, what if….The list goes on and on.  The good news is Peter tells us to throw ALL our worry on HIM, because he cares for YOU (1 Peter 5:7).  I know, I know, I know, I’m switching gears from fear to worry…and wasn’t Peter warning us in the whole passage about Satan and the powers at be? Yes and Yes, but in my opinion -when we let fear take over, then worry creeps in, and the next thing you know, we have allowed Satan, “the Great Accuser” to map out a plan of attack.

On the other hand, if we put both feet on the floor each morning, and consciously remember to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) – then we are ready to stand firm, rooted in the strength of God for whatever comes are way.  Secondly, as we begin to connect as sisters in Christ and spread our root system we will become stronger and stronger, and I truly believe the one who will be shaking in his boots will be the great accuser.  WE HAVE THE POWER, SISTERS!!!!!!

As we grow as sisters in Christ on this journey I would love to know your fears.  What are they?  How can we pray for each other?

What is your favorite verse or passage that helps you when fear wells up in your soul?  (mine is Romans 5:3-8)

Standing firm through the fear,