Can there be a purpose for fear?

Fear is one of the enemy’s favorite tools. It affects everyone. And it can affect any area of our lives. Are we a good enough as a mom, wife, friend? How about as an employee or employer? Are we up to the task? What about our dream goals? Do we even have dreams or are we too afraid to think about them? Are there worries, even legimate causes for concern, that totally consume our minds? Fear has us focus on whatever will take our eyes off God – our weaknesses, other’s strengths.

After Adam and Eve sinned, they hid in fear. God’s question to them was “Who told you….?” He hadn’t told them to be fearful or ashamed. They were listening to the voice of their enemy.

All that God asks of us is to be obedient. To seek, to love, to serve Him and His people. When our eyes are squarely on Him, our fears fade in His light.

Years ago, I had a strange experience. I was to speak before a crowd of fellow employees at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Every cell in my body trembled in fear. I had asked for prayer from trusted friends, telling them my teaching session would begin Wednesday at 8:00 am. It was Wednesday at 7:55, and as I drifted to the podium, I was so filled with fear I wondered how I’d be able to utter a single word.

Then something weird occurred. Really weird. It all happened in a moment. I felt a tingling on my scalp, like when someone pretends to crack an egg on your head. The tingle moved down from my head past my shoulders, past my arms and torso, down my legs, and out my feet – much like a thermometer with a pinhole in the bulb and the red liquid leaking out the bottom. The tingle was fear, and the feeling was so tangible that as it left my body, I looked down because I thought I’d see a puddle of fear on the floor. All I saw were large black and white tiles. As my eyes swept back up, they glimpsed the wall clock – which read exactly 8:00 sharp. In that instant, I simultaneously remembered 3 things –

  • my praying friends
  • my specific mention of 8:00am to them
  • and the Scripture verse that says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”

God is perfect love, and He supernaturally removed my fear.

I’d like to say that ever since that time, I have never experienced fear. But that would be a lie. What I do know is this – He CAN supernaturally remove my fear – IF HE WANTS TO. So if He doesn’t, it means that the fear is there for a reason – most likely, so that I keep tethered to Him, focused on Him, in communion with Him, dependent upon Him rather than myself.

All the fear and self-doubt that’s so prevalent and so destructive is just a tool in Satan’s arsenal, seeking to hinder the work of God. If only we can just remember that while we do have weaknesses, it’s in our weakness that He is strong. When we think we have it all together, we are at our weakest point. But when imperfect people do amazing things, God gets all the glory.

Let’s face today, and be amazing!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear… 1 John 4:18

2 thoughts on “Can there be a purpose for fear?

  1. Iris

    Oh Susan, what a wonderful experience you had. I don’t think I could ever talk in front of people. I remember one time reading Scripture in church. My voice cracked with almost every word.

    Yes, perfect love drives out fear. Thank you for the reminder.

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