What can we do to better cope with and even overcome our fears?
[Gary Petty] When we as human beings have no solutions to our anxieties and our fears, we create irrational fears. These are what psychologists call phobias. They're not rational, they can make us actually lock-up where we don't live life the way we should. And what's amazing is, is there are hundreds of recorded fears, irrational fears. Now, some fear is normal. Not all fear is wrong. We all should experience some fear. We're designed to fear danger, but these are irrational fears that even when there is no danger, we can be paralyzed by fear. And, of course, some of these are very common.
Acrophobia, fear of high places, a lot of people have that. Claustrophobia, fear of closed places. I felt that in a cave one time just closed in and it was crawling through a small area, there was water running through it. Boy, for a few seconds there, that was a terrible feeling. There's ochlophobia, fear of crowds. A lot of people have that. Xenophobia, fear of strangers, zoophobia, fear of animals. And there's even specific animals like gatophobia, which is the fear of house cats. Ablutophobia, some of you probably never heard of that. That's the fear of taking a bath. I think most six-year-old boys have a little bit of ablutophobia. Here's what I found that was very interesting, celtophobia. People who are afraid of the culture and Celtic peoples. That one I find surprising. Let's face it, the Irish and the Scots haven't invaded anybody else's country for a long, long time. I have a little bit of Celtic blood in me. Why are they afraid of the Celts? Maybe it's the bagpipes. I can understand that. That's a strange sound. So, there's a lot of fear of the dark, a lot of phobias that people have.
Now, remember, these aren't just based on the fact that there's some danger, they become irrational. Now, you and I know if I said what's the answer to the fears in your life, most of you would say, "Oh, it's God." I know the answer to that, God is the answer to the fears I have in my life. Well, then let's look at something that David wrote in Psalm 5. He says, "In fear of You," in fear of God, "I will worship." What? We know that God is all about love and He's all about mercy and yet David said, "In the fear of God, I will worship." Now, was it David didn't understand something? Or is it something we may not understand because it is true that the answer to all of our phobias is God.
So, how do we take these two concepts and put them together?
Wait a minute. Okay. I need to overcome my fears. God will help me overcome my fears, but first I have to fear Him. And the answer is actually yes. Now, the fear of God is not irrational, that's the important thing. The fear of God is a rational understanding of His greatness, it is to be in awe of His creativity, of His goodness, of His power, of His eternity, His omnipresence. You think of God and you begin to realize, if we begin to think about Him much, God is beyond our imagination. He's always existed, He always will exist. And God interacts with us, and that should make you feel humble.
You see, the fear of God, which the Bible says is the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says the fear of God is to hate evil. You see, the fear of God is to be humble before God, is to realize how great He is and how small you and I are.
Before God, what are we? And when you fear God, something amazing happens. You realize the only reason you breathe, the only reason you have a future, the reason there's a purpose in your life, the reason you were created is because He loves you. In fact, you can never truly understand the love of God or have the love towards God, you should, until you fear Him. Because you know what we do? Well, we say we love God and God loves me. So, we use God's love as an excuse to disobey Him, to ignore Him, to treat Him terribly. When you truly fear God and you realize that love comes from this great omniscient being, then you realize you fear God, you come before Him like a little child before daddy that says, "I've done something wrong, will you forgive me?" Or you come before Him like a little child that comes before for daddy and says, "Daddy, I'm afraid, I'm scared. I need your help." A little child fears to disobey dad, not because dad hates me, it's because they don't want to disappoint dad. Because to a little child, their parents are like God. They're everywhere, they know everything, they can do anything, and they love me and take care of me. It's the humility of a child towards a loving parent.
You and I at in times of fear can only overcome fear, and this is an oxymoron, doesn't seem like it's true, by having fear, the right kind of fear, the humility and all of the greatness of our God and what He will do in our lives, and then we will respond to His love.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.