God would never ask us to avoid something that was good for us. So why would He tell us not to fear? While there are likely many reasons, here we will discuss four specifically stated in the Bible.
First, it appears in Job that perhaps when we have certain fears we may open a door for that specific thing to actually happen. “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25 NKJV
Second, it stops our usefulness. “And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.” Matthew 25:25 NKJV Here the servant was fearful and simply did nothing because of fear. As the parable goes, he could have invested it or put it in the bank to earn interest, but instead, because of fear he chose to do nothing. Also in the time of Nehemiah, the enemies of Israel knew fear would stop forward movement on the rebuilding of Jerusalem and attempted to use it to stop the work. “For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, ‘Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.’” Nehemiah 6:9 NKJV Fear was used a a weapon by the enemies. Fear can be paralyzing.
Third, in Proverbs 12:25 we are told that anxiety (another word for fear) causes depression, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” Depression will also diminish our usefulness by slowing us down, sapping our energy and causing health problems. “Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Luke 21:26 NKJV This verse suggests fear can actually stop the heart. Some real life cases seem to prove that point true. Additionally, in our world today there are many illnesses linked to anxiety such as autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and even just simply being more susceptible to everyday colds or flus.
Fourth, fear separates us from God. Go back the Garden of Eden for a moment again. Adam said he was afraid, so he hid from God. When we are fearful, we lack faith. When we lack faith, our relationship with God is strained and we become separated. This, in my opinion, is the worst consequence of fear and the most damaging
The consequences of fear or worry are many. God wants to protect us from these things and so He tells us, “Do not fear.”
Have you ever had fear about what others might think? Guess what! That is addressed in the Bible too, and is the topic for next week.