Are Fear and Worry Real?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 29, 2014 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Are fear and worry real? The short answer to this question is yes - they are as real as we allow them to be. But that would be a very short blog post, so I will elaborate on that answer.

You may have read about fear in Nathan’s blog post from this past Saturday. In it, he quoted this line from a movie: “Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.“ I would say that the same is true for worry - it is a choice that we make.

The Bible mentions fear many times. There are actually two different types of fear in the Bible, though. One is the fear we commonly think of, like being afraid or terrified. The other is a holy fear, like being in reverence or in awe. We are instructed to have both types of fear of God, because of His power and holiness. But today we’ll be discussing the first type of fear, that of being scared or afraid.

We as humans often experience fear when we are in a situation that is unexpected. For example, every time an angel visited a person, the angel’s greeting started with some form of “Do not fear!” Personally, I’m pretty sure I’d be terrified if an angel of God just appeared in front of me right now! But if that happened, I would have the choice to either let that fear dominate and shut me down, or else to heed the angel’s words and not be afraid of the situation.

Before humankind sinned, there was none of this type of fear. There was nothing to be afraid of, because humanity was in full, right relationship with God. Nothing is stronger or bigger or more powerful than God, and with God so close to them, there was nothing to be afraid of. The enemy had no power in that perfect world. But, when sin came into the world, so did fear. We now have an enemy that we should be afraid of. The danger is real, but fear is a choice.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you will still experience some form of danger in this world. But we don’t have to be afraid of that danger, because God is still on our side! Even if there are temporary things to fear, our permanent home is with Him in the perfect world of heaven.

But what about worry? Worry is what happens when we have fear. If I’m afraid of losing my job, I will worry about it. If I’m afraid of getting into a car accident, I will worry about it. Worry is the result of having fear, which is what happens when we try to control our lives by ourselves. If God is in control, we have nothing to fear, and in fact we can have joy. But if we are in control, we will worry about the situations in our lives and typically mess them up - thus causing more worry.

Fear and worry are definitely both real, but that doesn’t mean we have to give in to them. If you follow Jesus, then God is on our side and there is nothing that we truly need to fear or worry about. As Romans 8:31 says, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”