Fear is a universal emotion. But just because we all experience fear doesn't mean that we have to live with it. In this five-session course, we will define fear, look at its associates and opposites, discuss what it means to fear God, and find out what we can do to overcome our fears.
What Is Fear?
Perhaps the most famous fear quote of all time came from Franklin D. Roosevelt at his first Inaugural Address, which occurred in 1933, in the middle of the Great Depression: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
The Bible has a lot to say about fear. The word afraid is found over 200 times in the Bible, and the word fear is found 53 times in the Psalms alone. So what is fear? How do we define it?
Fear's Close Associates
Fear perpetuates other problems in our lives. If it runs amok, it can move from being a mild annoyance to outright panic, which paralyzes us. Whether you experience these emotions or lead people who do, this study can help you work through the source and symptoms of fear from a biblical perspective.
The Opposite of Fear
Doing a web search on the question "What is the opposite of fear?" yields some interesting results. Some websites say love, another said happiness. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus, some antonyms of fear are: aplomb, assurance, boldness, confidence, self-assurance, self-confidence, courage, dauntlessness, fearlessness, and fortitude. This study will look at the Bible's answer to this question.
A paradox of Scripture is that to conquer the fears of life, we must fear the Lord. A memorial to Lord Lawrence in Westminster Abbey says of him, "He feared man so little, because he feared God so much." Psalm 19:9 says, "The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever."
So what does it mean to fear God, and how does it chase away our other fears?
Get Rid of Fear
We can get rid of fear and anxiety by recognizing that God doesn't want us to be enslaved to our fears and that he is greater than they are. We also can learn to avoid what causes us to fear and even laugh at our fears.
Total number of pages—46