Monday, December 28, 2009

Fear Not!

by D'Ann Mateer

I once wrote a whole novel about fear. In first person. Does that tell you anything about me? Throughout the book I referred to the voice of fear in the main character’s head as everything from an annoying yap to a ferocious, Doberman-like bark. Because that’s how fear had been for me—an ever-present noise in my head.

Fear not, for behold.

Though we proclaim Christmas to be about peace, the holidays often bring out our fear. When the angels spoke those words to the shepherds on that dark and lonely hillside. Whether they were prone to fear or not, the appearance of the heavenly beings in their splendor must have made even the bravest shake. But for those, like me, who lived with fear on a daily basis, the words “fear not” probably didn’t even penetrate to their understanding. For you see, a person living in fear can’t just “fear not.” There has to be something to replace the fear, something stronger than the fear itself.

I bring you tidings of great joy.

Several years ago, Beth Moore wrote a Bible study called Breaking Free. In one of the videos she asked the question I will never forget: Do you really believe God? Not did I believe in God. I knew the answer to that one. But did I believe God’s words were true—about me, for me. I went home that day and wrestled on my knees. Because believing God meant letting that belief replace all my fears. And while my fear wasn’t always comfortable, it was familiar. But that day I had to decide which voice would live in my head—faith or fear. In the end, I chose faith.

Which shall be for all people.

Do you struggle with fear? The good news is that the Truth is stronger than fear. The Truth sets us free while fear holds us bound. And I’m a walking testimony that the freedom from fear offered to us in the person of Christ is available to everyone.

The Lord has put all of us here to help each other walk the journey of life, to help each other grow to maturity in Christ, to give and receive comfort from each other. So can you share with us? What fear do you need deliverance from? What fear has the Lord delivered you from?

Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be for all people. (Luke 2:10)


  1. You're so right D'Ann. You can't just stop being in fear, you have to replace the fear with something else.

    I used to have a lot of fear about our finances. I would also get into fear when I was a young mother and away from my children. I realized rather than sitting at the restaurant on a date with my husband letting horror scenarios run through my head, I had to picture the kids at home happy and safe, playing with the babysitter and surrounded by angels.

    My youngest child deals with fear at bedtime some nights. He has to replace his fearful thoughts with happy thoughts. Sometimes he talks to God, or sings "Jesus" songs, or even just imagines things that he likes to fill his head with good things.

    Actually, it's funny this came up today. Both of my boys spent the night at a friend's house, and I struggled with some fear in the middle of the night. I prayed until I felt calm and fell asleep again.


  2. I constantly fear that I won't measure up. That I fall short. That I will never be good enough. And then I hear God's admonition that it's not about me. That his strength is the perfect antidote for my weakness. I think it is one reason He's drawn me to writing. I have no choice but to face that fear, acknowledge that I often don't measure up. But as long as I'm moving forward, and doing what God asks, it's okay.

  3. WOW..great post! Definitely needed. I think most of us struggle with fear! Thank you!
    Blessings, andrea

  4. D'Ann, I think fear is the biggest hurdle many of us face. Fear can literally paralyze us and keep us from achieving so much in this life. I've been able to conquer some of my biggest fears by taking Jesus with me. Unfortunately, I often think to myself that some of those smaller ones are too trivial to talk to Him about. Now that's some stinkin' thinkin'. So I have to keep reminding myself, nothing was too big for God, and nothing is too small. Thanks for this wonderful reminder.

  5. Oh, PS, I meant to also say: Lisa, the header is beautiful. One of my favorites so far.

  6. Good morning ladies,

    Hi Andrea. We're going to be talking about facing fears all week. I'm currently fearful about writing a post on fear.
    Seriously, it's probably the biggest hurdle Christians have. Everyone has fear but as Christians we aren't supposed to fear-- just the ammo the enemy has to make us useless. And he likes to find our weakest point and send his arrows there.

    Fellowship is definitely a help, D'Amn! We can remind others of His promise to be with us and share His strength.

    Thanks for starting our theme with: Trade fear for faith. When I'm fearful or worried, I'm really doubting God in effect.
    I wish it wasn't such a constant battle though.

  7. Since you asked, and I feel compelled to answer, I fear making mistakes and not being perfect. I'm trying to conquer that, but what I really need to do is recover from an abusive relationship. I've been separated, now divorced, for over two years, but I still fear men and even going on a date gives me anxiety.

  8. Excellent post! Galations 5:1 is my life verse. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." Free!! And that means free from fear. I have struggled with fear of what other people think of me. I don't want to do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, etc. But God is teaching me that if I am to BELIEVE Him, then I am trust Him. I need to be ME, the me I am in Him, and all will be well.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  9. It is amazing all the things we can find to fear in our lives! I think I've struggled with almost all that have been mentioned. And I agree, Lisa, that writing is one of the ways in which the Lord has taught me to face those fears and learn to trust Him!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who has walked in fear. And how wonderful and faith-building it is to find freedom from fear, one at a time!

  10. Mary, thank you for being so vulnerable. I pray that God will heal you deep within and set you free for greater things to come, in Jesus name, amen.

  11. Hey D'Ann,
    I'm afraid of driving in bad weather. I've been in 2 major accidents in my life. One was an ice storm. I just came back from about an hour north of Cincy where I had to drop my daughter off today. My windshield iced over on the way back home, but I had a little area I could see through.

    Of course I completely forgot about that when I wrote up my post for this week.:)

    This morning my oldest daughter was able to fight off her fears and get in a van with 14 others and head south with another van of 15 that are going on a retreat to Key West with the college age gang from our church. I'm praying for safe travel.

  12. Jill, being from the northeast, I have that same thing too. White knuckle driving. I wish I could buy studded snow tires for all my family.

    But I have to let it go. Right?

    Mary and Sherrinda, thanks for sharing. Mary, I really do know where you are at. (as the only single chick on the block).

    Sherrinda - I'm stealing that verse. FREEDOM! (Which always begs to be shouted as in Braveheart)

    D'Ann, you got us off to a good start. Maybe I'll have figured out what I really want to say, by Friday.

  13. Great post!! My husband came back from a psycharity update (as a physician, not a patient) with a new clinical tool. When a patient has multiple, unspecified symptoms or a vague or rambling series of complaints, ask, What are you most afraid of?

    It is a question I have asked myself hundreds of times and have used in dozens of prayer and counselling sessions. I think it is such a powerful question because it cuts to the heart of where the enemy would keep us, in bondage to fear. When we name our fears, we bring them into the light and in doing so we have the option of, as you say, believing God.

    Thanks for your honesty and transparency in talking about your own struggles with fear.

  14. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    For a long time, fear dominated my life. Through a series of events, I learned that fear was not me. It originated apart from me and acted like a schoolyard bully.

    I armed myself with scripture, memorized it, and used it to defeat my enemy. At one time, I had trouble picking my car keys up. For many years now, I've driven 4-6 hours to visit family and friends.

    II Timothy 1:7 has been my battle cry for 25 years.

    Susan :)

  15. What a powerful post. Thank you, D'Ann. I appreciate that we're exploring this theme this week, and I also appreciate everyone's vulnerability and encouragement.

    It's also comforting to know we're not alone. I struggle with fear, especially losing my family. I have worked very hard to trust God, to (as Beth Moore says) believe God, not just in Him.

    I love the verses. Thanks, everyone!


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