A little over a month ago, I spoke on fear to a small group of women from my own church and the women of First Baptist Church of Fairdale, KY. For those of you who know me, in my flesh I'm a very fearful person, so this talk was a much for me as it was for any of the ladies present. In the next few weeks, I am going to break it up into a series of posts. I have edited for readability and blogging purposes. Hope it is helpful.
In the 1965 movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Lucy asks Charlie Brown if he has “pantophobia.” “What’s that?” he asks her confused. “It’s the fear of everything,” she informs him. If you have seen the movie you know that she nails it. And he suddenly realizes that’s what he has—the fear of everything.
Maybe you can relate to Charlie Brown—are maybe your fears are much fewer. Jani Ortlund, a pastor’s wife and author from Nashville, TN, applies the tendency towards fear to women. In her book Fearlessly Feminine she says,
“Fear is a complex emotion. It can fuel us so that we strive harder to succeed. Or it can freeze us, so that we stay home eating cookie dough and reading the latest gossip magazines. Women today struggle with many fears.”
She goes on to say:
“The problem with fear is that it works so well. It motivates and influences us. It coerces us to conform. It drives us to compete. It prods us to perform. Fear has been part of our hearts since the Garden of Eden. When Eve took the fruit and ate it, she was motivated by fear—fear that she would miss out on what was ‘good…and pleasing…and also desirable’ (Gen. 3:6); fear that God didn’t really have her best interests in mind; fear that obedience would exact too high a price. And we have been assaulted by our fears ever since.”
Most of us can relate to these fears. We can probably add to them too. So what are your fears? How do you battle those fears? Do you hope in your own strength? What about your power? Or your ability to control? Or intellect?
God has much to say to us about our fears in his Word. But he also has much to say to us about our hope in the midst of these fears. My aim in these few posts is to expose you to the treasure trove of truth given to us in God’s word. The Bible contains everything we need to face our fears in a godly manner. So my hope for all of us as we embark on this study is that we would leave here with a bigger view of God and a greater appreciation for his word.