A few of my friends and I started a book discussion group last night. We are reading through the book titled What Women Fear by Angie Smith. Since this was our first meeting, we hadn’t had the opportunity to read any of the book yet, so we just started discussing the topic of fear and how it has affected our lives.
The discussion brought to light the many different types of fears and ways we experience fear. Fear can present itself as a physical anxiety response. We can fear the unknown, and we can fear the known. Sometimes fear is a good warning sign of danger, and it may prevent further harm coming to us or our loved ones (i.e. fear of the Lord). Sometimes fear is overwhelming, and it can prevent us from being obedient to God’s will in our lives.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10
We discussed how subtly we fear other women; their perception and acceptance of us.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31
We discussed common fears like the fear of heights, spiders, flying, change, fear of the unknown, fear of dying, fear of suffering, fear of harm coming to our children. We discussed how our need or desire for control is really a symptom of fear; how a controlling spirit (fear) is really a distrust of God’s will and purpose in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones.
…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
God tells us over and over again, “do not fear, take courage”. The Bible gives us example after example of His beloved children acting in fear starting with Adam hiding in the garden. God’s word also emphasizes that God does not want us to live in fear but in the power of His Holy Spirit. He alone is trustworthy.
My prayer is that we become women of courage as we identify the areas of fear in our lives that are hindering our Christian walk. May God help us prune away any distrust we have of Him.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Be encouraged. Take courage from Jesus. Press on.