I’m not a fan of horror movies. Particularly those that we might call “slasher” films. If I’m going to watch a scary movie, then it will be in the psychological realm. However, for the most part, I still don’t seek out these types of films because I don’t like being afraid. When I was a kid, my parents would reward my good grades. One time, I got such good grades that they took me to see the movie Jaws, and I never got good grades again (ha! ha!). The funny thing about Jaws was that I saw it again years later and was surprised at how fake everything looked. With some age and a different perspective, I saw it differently.

As Christians, we think we should never be afraid, or perhaps that’s just me. I’ve suffered through fear and anxiety and wouldn’t want to see anyone go through these. As Believers, there are many Scriptures we can turn to in times of fear and anxiety, but when we do so, we need to know what these verses mean. Here’s one I’m sure we’ve all heard.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

The King James version uses the word “fear” here instead of “timid” like the NIV. Timid is closer to the word being translated from the Greek, “deilia.” Which means “cowardice, timidity. From deilos; timidity” (Strong’s 1167). In this letter to Timothy, Paul was talking about persecution and suffering for the Gospel. He’s not telling Timothy to never be afraid. He’s telling him that the Spirit we’ve been given isn’t cowardly or timid. Therefore, when we quote this verse to encourage us in our struggle against fear, we should be asking, “Is this the action of a cowardly person?” Someone afraid to fight? Surely, if we were being cowardly, we wouldn’t be struggling with fear and fighting in the Spirit against it, would we?

What about this verse from 1 John 4?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18 (NIV)

For this, let’s turn to the Amplified Bible.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]

1 John 4:19 (AMP).

When we understand this verse, we might see that it has nothing to do with fear and love in the way we thought it did. It’s not telling us that we’re not in God’s love when we’re afraid. It is telling us that if we’re afraid of God’s judgment, we’re lacking in understanding of his good and perfect love for us.

Here’s a verse I think that’s great to think of when we’re struggling against fear and anxiety.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3 (NIV)

This verse doesn’t say, “If I’m afraid,” does it? No, it says “when I am afraid.” This means that there are going to be times when we are afraid. When those times come, what should we do? Trust in the Lord. I also like the “why” the psalmist uses here in Psalm 56:11.

in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? (NIV)

Psalm 56:11 (NIV)

That really puts things in perspective, don’t you think? What can people do to us? When I think about being afraid, there’s only one place in the Bible I can think of right now where we’re told to be afraid.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28 (NIV)

If we’re saved, then we don’t even have to submit to this fear because when we die, we will be with our Father in Heaven.

The problem with being afraid is that when we’re afraid, we forget that fear is a state of mind. It’s not a state of being. We have considerably more control over states of mind than we do states of being. States of mind have to do with emotions that can impact our state of being, but they can’t define it unless we allow them to do so. Before I was saved, I used to be depressed. That was a state of mind that impacted my state of being because I allowed it to do so. While there are a lot of things we can do to change our state of mind, without the mind of Christ, that comes at the moment of salvation, those changes are temporary. Just like states of mind. Once we are saved, our state of being changes from one destined for damnation to one of salvation.

When it comes to fear and anxiety, we really have no hope of them being relieved in our lives without God. Sure, there are lots of temporary ways in the world to relieve the stress of these things, but only God can grant us true peace. I think we forget these things when we quote these verses in times of anxiety because we don’t consider the context of the verses. Take this one that’s a favorite.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

This is a great verse to remember and use in your battle against anxiety. The problem, however, with just remembering this verse is the loss of context. Here’s the verse with better context.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

Casting up our cares to God without first humbling ourselves isn’t going to relieve us of our anxieties. Why? Because when we acknowledge to God that we cannot do anything about our fears. Only He can. We are turning away from pride. Pride is a root of worry because we think we can do something about our situation (by worrying). Now, there are times we can and should do something, but even when we do, we still seem to worry, don’t we?

Without going into detail, I am confident that every verse in the Bible we use in spiritual warfare, no matter the battle. Is dependent on our humility and submission to God. This means that all of God’s good promises are only available to those who are saved.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.