Story About Fear In The Bible

Fear is a human emotion, which means we all experience it. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think that fear is in and of itself a bad thing. In fact, it’s quite critical for our survival. Fear tells us when there is danger present, and to avoid it. However, it can also manifest in ways that aren’t so productive, like letting our fears control us and never doing what we want to do.

Fear is something that is ingrained in human beings. It’s natural to feel some kind of fear when you face a threat, but what’s important is how we react to it. In the Bible, there are over some stories about people who faced fearful circumstances and how they reacted to it. We can learn a lot from them. What do you think? How did they react? Leave your comment below.

Fear. It can cause us to hesitate in our decision making process, paralyze us into inaction, and even freeze us in a moment with fear as we worry over potential outcomes. And sometimes, healthy fear keeps us safe. But when fear begins to rule our lives, it serves as a prison that separates us from experiencing the fullness of our faith following the Lord Jesus Christ.

The 10th plague contained within the book of Exodus (heehaw) is the infliction of the dreaded death penalty, a punishment synonymous with fear. The name “plague” itself was derived from the Latin word plaga which means “to inflict a wound.” As in previous ten plagues, this one followed a similar pattern where Moses was required to hang out with God for a day or two before returning to Egypt and performing some magical/magical act that brought fear upon Pharaoh’s house.

Story About Fear In The Bible

Fear is a complicated emotion. It can motivate us or it can paralyze us depending on how we choose to approach it. As Christians, we must never allow it to dominate our lives. In its own way, fear can become an idol which takes our focus away from God and has us fret over “what if?” Over at Relevant Magazine, Scott Savage shares a number of ways believers can learn to combat their fears. In particular, Savage notes that many fears are often born from a desire to control the outcome, rather than trusting in obedience to God. He writes,

“Obedience doesn’t equal control. When Jesus is our leader and we are His followers, He is sovereign over the outcome of our obedience. Yet, when I realize what could happen if I obeyed God in, I often want to determine the outcome before I take a step of obedience. I know many friends who struggle with wanting to know what will happen after their obedience before they will obey. And we just can’t know!

In John 21, we read how Jesus forgave Peter for his denial and restored him. Jesus also shared with Peter about his future where he would not be in control. ‘Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ Following Jesus leads us to opportunities where we can choose to surrender more control of our lives each day. But surrender is never easy.”

Story About Fear In The Bible

A Dangerous Trap

The Bible pulls no punches when speaking about the fear of man.

In Galatians 2:11–14, Peter changes his dining practices according to his audience. He eats with Gentiles before “certain men came from James,” but when they arrived, he stops, “fearing the circumcision party.” Paul calls this hypocrisy and rightly opposes Peter to his face, because his “conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel.”

There were specific, first-century, social, and religious dynamics at play here. But the fundamental problem is universal: We often modify our behavior based on the opinion of others.

The Bible describes the fear of man in terms of a trap: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25). When we fear man, we are walking into a dangerous place, because we’re no longer trusting in the Lord.

The Desire for Approval

At its core, the fear of man is about our desire for approval. Jon Bloom wrote a helpful article at Desiring God which calls this a natural desire. Bloom writes that God designed us to seek approval, and this proves to be a huge motivating factor for us. The source from whom we seek approval reveals our deepest love.

We can trace our fears to the people who have the most authority over us. This is the person(s) whose approval we most want. Jesus puts a fine point on this:

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:4–7)

We are to fear God supremely, because he has ultimate authority over our bodies and souls. No man controls our eternal destiny.

Approved by God

Did you read that Luke 12 passage carefully? Jesus told his disciples both to fear God and then not to be afraid. How can these commands both be true?

God is the Creator and Sovereign, so we should fear him! But this God is merciful and loving, so in trusting his care we don’t need to be afraid. He knows us, loves us, and will give us exactly what we need.

Instead of seeking approval from other people, the gospel of Jesus reminds us that we are approved by God. In our own actions and desires we deserve nothing but disapproval. But Jesus—the beloved Son of the Father, the One approved and accepted before time began—feared God in our place. Jesus lived to do his Father’s will (John 4:34).

Our fear of man was put on Jesus, and he was rejected by man and God for us. By faith, Jesus’ perfect fear of the Lord is credited to us, and God approves! Our heavenly Father accepts and loves us, all the way down to our toes.

Do you see how freeing and motivating this truth is? The fears that imprisoned our minds and hearts are now set free in the wind. We don’t have to impress or win over any other person, because the God of the universe is in our corner!

There’s a healthy, God-glorifying way we can say, “I don’t care what anyone thinks.”

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