Friday, the 13th—but have no fear

Some people have a negative reaction to Friday, the 13th, but believers are encouraged to have no fear.

The second Friday in the New Year is actually Friday, the 13th, a day that some react to in a negative way.  Some even have an abnormal fear of Friday, the 13th, actually expressed in the psychological term paraskevidekatriaphobia. While not everyone harbors an ungrounded fear of Friday, the 13th, we cannot deny that fear seems to abound during these intense times. We all recognize that fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way. Unbridled fear is a toxic emotion that limits and inhibits. Proverbs 29:25 makes this clear:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Fear is a tool of the Enemy used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim, described in I Peter 5:8:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”                                               

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. The comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” occurs 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear.

We also find great encouragement in Isaiah 41:10, 13:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

When we encounter stressful situations that cause us to respond in fear, we are encouraged to seek the strength to overcome any obstacle that attempts to block our path to success. Again the Psalmist offers this reminder:

Psalm 34:5

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

In 1 John 4:18 we find the perfect antidote to fear:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free, as this poem indicates:

Self-imposed Prison

“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you

 from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

— Rick Warren

  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,

  because fear involves torment. But he who fears

  has not been made perfect in love.

  I John 4:18

  

This self-imposed prison, not made with bars of steel,

 Nor formed with bricks, yet each subtly constructed wall

 Restricts the mind, scars the soul and cripples the will

 And impounds us to a state of constant free fall.

 Held captive by past mistakes that seek to instill

 Fear: this deadly acronym binds, confines the heart,

 So disguised as “false evidence appearing real”

 Keeps us from being all God intends us to be.

 But Christ, our sovereign Lord, pardoned each life sentence,

 Commuted penalties, declaring not guilty.

 With his blood, having blotted out every offense,

 Displayed undying love: key to set captives free.

 Pure freedom to serve awaits those with ears to hear,

 For perfected love destroys all walls built by fear.

In a previous blog, I also discuss “toxic fear and its antidote—love.”

https://drlej.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/toxic-fear-and-its-antidote-love/

In his book Consider Your Ways, Apostle Eric L. Warren, Founder and Overseer of Equip U Ministries, Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, contrasts a number of positive character qualities or virtues with their corresponding opposite vices. He points out that the opposite of fear is courage, a trait God continually exhorts believers to take upon themselves. Christians are to be bold and take courage, not just on Friday, the 13th but every day of our lives. Friday, the 13th, is just another day to remind us to put on our “no fear gear”, as we walk in the love of God which casts out all fear.

http://gospelrhythms.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/no-fear-in-love.jpg

Everyday we are reminded that "perfect love casts out all fear," for there is no fear in love.

To read about the awesome power of God, an understanding of which should also dispel fear, take a look at

http://www.examiner.com/x-20264-Columbus-Christian-Spirituality-Examiner~y2009m10d12-Massive-ring-around-Saturn-displaying-the-power-of-God

Listen to this powerful rendition of “The Love of God” by contemporary Christian band, MercyMe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjj2kZ1qoqw&feature=player_embedded

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