But when he saw the wind, he was afraid. Matthew 14:30 (NIV)
Fear is a power that can grip your soul. It will fight against your faith and seek control of your mind and heart. Fear debilitates. It paralyzes and impedes the progress of faith.
Jesus told a story about a master who gave resources to three servants to invest for him (Mat. 25:14-30). Two of them got involved in ventures that produced a good return, but the third servant dug a hole in the ground and hid his money.
When the master returned, the servant said, “I was afraid.” Fear kept him from taking the initiative, from being profitable, from making the most of his opportunity, and fear kept him from hearing these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Fear is one of the enemy’s greatest weapons in undermining our progress in the Christian life. It eroded the faith of God’s people when they were about to enter the Promised Land (Num. 13:31-33). Moses sent out twelve spies, who saw the strength of the enemy, and by the time they came back with their report, ten of them were overwhelmed by fear.
Some of us have greater battles with fear than others. Some people have a more timid or nervous temperament, and becoming a Christian doesn’t change your personality.
If you have a fearful temperament, God will help you in the battle, but this is where many of your battles will be fought. You will tend to ask, “What if?” and your imagination will construct scenarios other people would not think of. Even if someone tries to assure you, “Oh, don’t worry, that will never happen,” you will still be afraid.
Some will struggle more than others, but at some point, everyone experiences the inner struggle between faith and fear: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).
What makes you afraid? Terrorism? The economy? Failure? Temptation? The future? Loss? Name your fear(s).