Fear: False Expectation Appearing Real
What are some of your biggest fears? Do you think you’ll ever be able to overcome them? In every chapter of our lives, fear follows us and shapes itself into new challenges. As toddlers, we fear monsters under our beds or in our closets; as kids, we are scared of being left by our parents on our first day of school or left home alone; as teens, rejection, and feeling like we don’t belong haunt us on a daily basis; and as adults, failure towers over us like an unwelcome storm cloud.
There is always going to be a time where we’re scared of something, but it doesn’t have to take control of us. Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to prove yourself and do the things you’re most scared of; I know I am. However, some fears can’t be won through diving with sharks or jumping out of planes; they’re psychological and need to be continuously worked on.
As a person with a wild imagination, it’s not difficult for my mind to conjure ludicrous scenarios. My eyes were opened to this realization after my parents went away for a week, two months ago. I had the house to myself and was ready to have the best time ever, only to find my nights stolen by the fear of something terrible occurring while I was alone.
Do you remember the first time your parents left you home alone? Gaining that level of trust must have made you feel all grown up, only to be brought back down to your size when you realized how eerie and quiet your house was when no one but you is in it. Or, maybe you had the best time and love having the whole house to yourself.
I, personally, enjoy being home alone. All responsibility falls on me, and I get to do the chores in the order I want rather than in the way they’re usually done. However, to this day, I have to have music playing in my house when I’m alone because it fills the void and blocks out the weird noises I only notice when I’m by myself. I’m not scared of being on my own, but my mind definitely plays games with me in those times. The nights are the worst.
Night, the time of the day when bad things usually happen. I’ve seen enough movies to know what can happen to someone when they’re alone in the dark, even if a lot of them are fictional, so I’ve always been cautious and prepared. It didn’t help that the power went out my first night alone at 3am, the back-up generator’s beeping waking me up. I was sure that I was about to be the lead in a horror movie, the girl who goes to turn the power back on, only to be met with her doom (dramatic, I know).
What do you do when you find yourself in this fearful state? Do you make as much noise as you can or call a friend, so you have a witness if something bad happens (Taken, anyone)?
What about when you can’t sleep at night; do you read, listen to music, or watch funny videos?
The night my house’s power went out, I found myself unable to go back to sleep. However, as a person who prefers to fight fear rather than embrace it, I began searching through the Bible to find a verse or two that would bring me comfort. At the end of my quest, I not only found a couple of verses, I found an entire chapter!
Psalm 91 is powerful. The minute I began reading its words, I felt peace wash over me, and the fears I’d just had vanished. In this chapter, God gives eight promises that made me feel like I was no longer alone or scared; “‘Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.’” (Psalm 91:14-16)
My time alone taught me many things, but the most important lesson I learned was that fear is just False Expectation Appearing Real. I’d heard a pastor say this during one of my school assemblies, but I only recently remembered this phrase. All fear is psychological, but we cannot allow it to take hold of us, or we’ll forever be stuck in one place.
If fear does capture us, we need to remember that God is beside us and will guide us through all our fears. He won’t always intervene to stop things from happening like He didn’t with Job, but if our faith is strong and unfailing, He will always be waiting on the other side to be rejoined with us.
We will never stop being afraid, but with each fear comes a new fight that we can overcome. Yeshua/Jesus is our overcomer, and with His help, we will be set free!
My favorite word of advice to give people is, “Do the thing that you’re most scared to do.” I’ve made it my life’s mission to push myself through my fears because I believe that overcoming obstacles or fear will only make you stronger. Life isn’t about taking the easy road; it’s about leading the life you were called to live, no matter how scary that may be.
Being spiritually aware of the calling on our lives and the gifts we have been given is the key to fulfilling the plan that was mapped out for us. We are all called to do something in this world, but allowing fear to take control of that dream is crippling. Don’t go through life regretting not taking a risk or listening to the Father’s voice; take action today!
If you’re living in fear or are about to face something that you’re scared to do, ask the Lord for guidance and His peace, and He will give it to you. Until you break the chains of fear over your life, you will never be truly free.
John 4:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.“
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Listen to the words of this song, they’re amazing!