I have spoken to many people recently who are dealing with fear, especially as world circumstances get crazy again. I, for one, often get stuck living in my own little peaceful bubble until that bubble gets popped by one thing or another. Then, it’s very easy for fear to take over. I remember when COVID started, standing in the middle of a grocery aisle trying to get air through a mask while I looked at empty shelf after empty shelf. The fear of not having enough was suffocating. These days, I can watch the news and have the same fear rise up in me, watching as people are murdered, tortured, raped, bombed. I ache with sadness for the loss, and run through all the worst-case scenarios of what is next.

I realized during COVID that I have no idea how to prepare for things, and it better be up to my kind Father to prepare me. Who would have thought that people would have been fighting for toilet paper? We often believe, though, that fear somehow prepares us for the unknown. Yet, it actually does nothing to make us ready.

God obviously knows we will struggle with fear, as He addresses it over and over throughout the Bible. Fear can be the most strangling distraction, as we obsess on so many things of which we can be afraid.

As with every struggle we have, it is not about just telling yourself not to be afraid and to “suck it up” in a manner of speaking. Instead, we get to access the power of God in us. If you don’t have enough of something, all you have to do is ask because we are in Christ and we have the Holy Spirit. I often have to remind myself and others that Galatians 5 is all about the gifts of the Spirit, not the gifts that I have to generate and create in myself.

If it’s up to me to not be afraid, we are sunk. But it’s not! God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear. He doesn’t want you living in fear and anxiety. It’s not good for you. Instead, He has given you the Holy Spirit who brings mighty power, love and self-control. You already have all you need to deal with fear and not get swallowed up by it. You only need to turn to the right Source.

So, for me, this looks like getting distracted repeatedly by something I’m afraid of in my life or for others, and then my gentle Shepherd reminding me that it’s not good for me. I come back, laying all my fears and burdens at His feet, and in return, He gives me mighty power, love and self-control. This is often a thousand times a day, but He never tires of me coming to Him for all that I need, and it actually builds relationship as I am dependent on Him.

For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love and self-control. So never be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor be embarrassed over my imprisonment, but overcome every evil by the revelation of the power of God. 2 Timothy 1:7-8