Fear

October 10, 2019

“When facing fears, don't panic; when hearing negative feedback, don't lose a sense of God's love; when feeling a desire to pull back from God and avoid quiet prayer, be tough, stay with it in patience, perseverance, and with an open heart.” (Robert J. Wicks) “Human beings are easily alarmed, and Christians often respond to their fears by exaggerating the danger and by seeking solutions that do not appropriately address the problems…Fear arises when we imagine everything depends on us…Of course, there are irrational fears (phobias) of specific things. I cannot say whether such phobias are related to lack of faith, or whether they can be overcome by faith alone. But fear in general can be a very destructive and oppressive force in one’s life. It can dictate our actions and our decisions, and thus may govern our very lives…Fear is, of course, natural, but it must be controlled.” (David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons, Elisabeth Elliot, Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

 

“God hears His us when we have doubts and questions: “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you return, I will restore you’” (Jeremiah 10:19). First we must return to the task God sets before us, but more importantly we must return to the Lord Himself. Note how God yokes return to restore (vs. 19). Repentance includes the honest admission that we are struggling to face the consequences that accompany speaking the truth, and exposing our doubts about God. But it also means continuing to tell the truth: staying with it. God is truth. We are to separate our emotions, doubts, and fears from His will so as not to fall into delusion.” (OCPM 10/20/2016)

 

“We will never cease to need an array of spiritual guides to help us deal with our unrecognized and unnecessary fears, to help us to appreciate the need for proper detachment, and to lead us to a sense of enthusiasm and perspective in a world strained by anxiety and confusion.” (Robert J. Wicks)

 

“Fears and anxieties are rarely resolved by God in the form of answers to problems. They are far more likely to arise organically from the depths of a relationship with Him...It’s all about God in us, shaping us, breathing within us, sounding us out, summing us up, spicing our lives with the savor of His immense love...we can also take comfort in knowing that Jesus also suffered. He understands our fears, our weaknesses, and our disappointments... He promised never to leave us...and He intercedes on our behalf... In times of pain, persecution, or suffering, we should trust confidently in Christ.” (Hieromonk Maximos, Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 11:35-39)

 

"Ambiguity is all about loss of control. Control is a defense mechanism against immaturity and fear. We fear the things we are not mature enough to handle…Embracing ambiguity challenges our need to understand and control reality. After all, we are rational creatures with a God-given intellect. When we begin to embrace ambiguity we become less rigid, less black-and-white in our thinking. We become softer. We become more kind.” (Albert S. Rossi)

 

"The opposite of faith is self-reliance, which breeds fear and anxiety. Whenever I cease to lead a God-centered life, whenever I neglect to put myself, everything, and everyone in His hands, I am left alone to play God on the stage of my concerns, challenges, situations, and relationships. Of course I inevitably find that I’m ill-suited for this role, because my own shoulders are simply too insecure a foundation for the burdens of the world. This insecurity is what brings all sorts of fear into my life… my “salvation,” consists largely of letting go of these bad kinds of fear, and replacing them with faith." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

 

“Think about when you are most afraid. It’s when you don’t know the outcome of something…People are afraid of the unknown, because they don’t have mastery of it and can’t control the results.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

 

“God is concerned with every matter and action, even those we cannot see physically. However, fear, once unloosed and accepted, can either paralyze us or stampede us to great harm…Let our first response to any hint of fear be confession and a declaration of our trust in God. It is a matter of fighting back against the weakening within ourselves by choosing to trust in the Lord, despite whatever we may feel.” (OCPM 12/2/2017)

 

“It takes intense heat to purify gold and silver. Similarly, it often takes the heat of trials for the Christian to be purified. Through trials, God shows us what is in us and clears out anything that gets in the way of complete trust in Him…So when tough times come your way, realize that God wants to use them to refine your faith and purify your heart.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 17:3)

 

“Human beings are easily alarmed, and Christians often respond to their fears by exaggerating the danger and by seeking solutions that do not appropriately address the problems…Fear arises when we imagine everything depends on us.” (David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons, Elizabeth Elliot)

 

“Actions motivated by fear are rarely helpful, and fear produces small souls and hearts. That’s why the scripture reminds us that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).” (Father Barnabas Powell)

 

"Fear is an underlying obstacle, even when I don’t notice it, to entering into a true relationship with God, or anyone else, for that matter. I am called to walk through my fear, however, and keep following His call, despite my own “unworthiness,” or other people’s opinion." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

 

“Remember that fear and love cannot co-exist. Growing in God’s love necessitates ignoring fear of the consequences of following God, and ignoring the fear of stepping outside of our comfort zone which calls us to greater sense of self, in order to have a greater sense of Him!” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

 

“...we are meant to live, not in fear, but in a joyful state, knowing and experiencing the love of God.” (Abbot Tryphon)

 

“What fears of the other lurk in your heart that keep you from seeing all people as created in God’s image? While we need discernment, we can never allow our fears, our prejudices, or our ignorance to keep us from communion with others.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

 

“The fear of life is actually more debilitating than the fear of death…Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.” (H. Norman Wright, Elisabeth Elliot)

 

“I found myself recalling Easter Sunday when the two Marys went to the tomb where, three days earlier, they had laid the body of their beloved friend and son Jesus but found the tomb empty. An angel of the Lord was waiting for them to explain that Jesus was missing not because someone had stolen his body, but because he had been raised from the dead, just as he had predicted. The guards were terrified, and the Scripture reads they shook and became like dead men…I have always thought that was such an interesting description of what fear does to you. You become like the dead, still living, but not really living….Nobody should live in fear and be like the dead. God wants us to live like the living, not the dead. We’re not meant to live like the dead. And we’re not meant to treat other living people like the dead either.” (Lillian Daniel)

 

"Fear disrupts faith and becomes the biggest obstacle to trusting and obeying God…Sometimes faith is the absence of fear. Other times faith may be choosing to believe God even when your heart is melting with fear…We can overcome fear by trusting God for His protection in our darkest hour.” (John Ortberg, Beth Moore, Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 3:1-2)

 

"Of course, there are irrational fears (phobias) of specific things. I cannot say whether such phobias are related to lack of faith, or whether they can be overcome by faith alone. But fear in general can be a very destructive and oppressive force in one’s life. It can dictate our actions and our decisions, and thus may govern our very lives…Fear is, of course, natural, but it must be controlled. To be dominated by fear is a sign of lack of faith and trust in God." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

 

“The fear of God shouldn’t scare us out of our wits; it should scare us into them…The soul that has once been waked, or stung, or uplifted by the desire of God, will inevitably (I think) awake to the fear of losing Him.” (Randy Alcorn, C. S. Lewis)