The Gift of Fear
Bible Study Notes | June 9, 2021
You know that feeling. The pit in your stomach, pounding of your heart, and rush of your thoughts as you go from just the possibility of a job loss to starving and being homeless on the streets—all in a matter of seconds. Gripped by fear, although an imagined one.
Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so that we will take action against it. It has a purpose. It tells us to take precautions, to be wise in our dealings with strangers and strange situations. We need to think of it as a gift.
We know fear has a dark side as well. Why would fear drive us? And, what does fear drive us to do?
Women in general are created with a nesting instinct, a need for security and stability, and a desire to control our environment in order to create that security for those they love. Our American way of thinking is this: we can fix it—whatever “IT” is. When we cannot fix it, we panic.
Fear can be real or imagined. For me, a real fear is meeting a snake in my woodsy yard while gardening. I know they are there so I carefully do everything I can to avoid interaction with them.
- Consider examples of both real fears and imagined ones in your life.
Fear is an ever-present emotion with most people—real fears as well as imagined ones. Is it realistic to think we can live without fear? No!
God gave us the emotion of fear. It was given with a purpose—to alert us to danger so that we will take action against it. Yet, sudden fear can cause us to be terrified. We can let fear take root in us so that we give way to panic and hysteria. Does that ring any bells with you? Are you prone to hysterics?
God knows this about us. When we are afraid, God wants us to trust Him and not give way to fear. Learning to do that is our walk from fear to faith.
Trusting a Faithful God
“When we look at life just with our own eyes, we become fearful, pessimistic, & negative. We become people who feel, ‘I don’t know if that can work. I don’t know if I can get through this.’ When we look at the Scriptures and begin to…see how God empowered normal average people like you and I, the Holy Spirit takes the Word of God and strengthens us and gives us courage that we didn’t know we had.”
Because God understands this tendency to fear and panic, the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write to us in 1 Peter 3:3-6 words that strengthen us and give us courage we didn’t know we could have.
1 Peter 3:3-6. What does God consider to be great worth in His sight (verse 4)?
Although the focus of this passage is a marriage relationship, the principles relate to any person’s character (“inner self”), especially the qualities of a GENTLE and QUIET spirit that are precious in God’s sight. But, you may be thinking, “How can that apply to me? I have a bubbly personality. I’m not naturally quiet.” Before you start feeling put out about these words or afraid that you could never measure up to this, let’s find out what “gentle” and “quiet” actually mean.
Gentle = Controlled strength
“GENTLE” does not mean passive, weak, or someone who cannot help herself. Rather, it means “controlled strength.” Picture a mother cradling a newborn. She has the physical strength to harm that child but doesn’t because her strength is under control. If you are going to have a gentle spirit, what will you need? Strength under control.
Quiet = Tranquility from within
“QUIET” does not mean whisper, silent, or bland. It does mean “tranquility arising from within” and includes the idea of causing no disturbance to others. Think how a person’s hysterics affect those around them—family, friends, and coworkers.
A person with a quiet spirit has an inner peace and calmness in the midst of any circumstance. Have you experienced that kind of peace?
Gentleness and peace are the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work (Gal. 5: 22-23) in a believer’s life and available to every Christian woman who desires them—that includes you and me! We can have a tranquil spirit in the midst of chaos. See how it fits with the “strength under control” mindset?
- Choice #1:You can put your hope in God—in God and His Word rather than the unreliability of ourselves or others.
- Choice #2:You can do what is right—according to God’s way of approaching life, not the world’s way, especially those cultural practices that go against God’s Word.
- Choice #3:You can choose to not give way to fear. Let’s examine this one more closely.
Choose to not give way to fear
Choose to not give way to fear. What does that mean?
We know this: God’s not saying, “Don’t ever feel fear?” God gave us the gift of fear as a normal human emotion designed to alert us to danger so we can take action against it. He’s saying, “Here’s why you don’t have to be terrified and paralyzed by your fear.” We are to face our troubles without panic and hysteria. We are to TRUST GOD—in whom we have put our hope and by whose Word we are taught to do what is right.
Have you ever felt terrified? How did you respond?
God says that having a gentle and quiet inner spirit will make it easier for us not to get so terrified and stay that way.
Your Faith Walk
In the Bible, “walk” refers to following a certain course of life or conducting oneself in a certain way. It’s your daily life. How you choose to live daily. What motivates you. What guides you. What decisions you make in how you will respond to life. Will your daily walk follow God’s way of approaching life or the world’s way? Your walk is your choice.
Did you notice that faith is related to confidence? Confident hope and confident assurance that what we believe is true. That confidence is in the fact that our God exists and is good to anyone who seeks Him. This confidence pleases Him.
differed with their mates, and cried when a loved one died. They wrote songs and played musical instruments. I bet they all found ways to use their 20,000 words per day!
Your Faith Walk
John 14:27 and 16:33. What does Jesus promise to you?
He is with you through any trouble. You can trust Him. Our God is trustworthy!
What might be holding you back from trusting Him whenever you are afraid?
“When we experience anxiety or fear, the enemy can try to use it as an opportunity to make us feel guilt or shame. That’s when we pause and ask God for help, knowing He understands and never condemns us.”
When we look at life just with our own eyes, we become fearful, pessimistic, & negative. We think to ourselves, “Nothing’s going to work. I don’t know if I can get through this.” But, when we look at the Bible and begin to see how God has empowered everyday people like you and I, the Holy Spirit takes the Word of God to strengthen us and give us courage that we didn’t know we had. WALK FROM FEAR TO FAITH.
Truth #1: God loves you
John 3:16; John 16:27; Romans 5:5
You are part of that world that God loves. And, as a believer in Jesus, God the Father loves you and pours out His love into your heart so you can experience His love.
Truth #2: God knows what is going on in your life
Matthew 6:31-32; Psalm 139:1-10
God is everywhere and knows everything. So, God knows what is going on in your life. He knows your needs and how best to meet them.
Truth #3: God can do something about it
Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37
Is anything impossible for the Lord? The answer is, NO! Our God is all-powerful. He is capable of doing anything He chooses to do that is in agreement with His character and His purposes.
Truth #4: You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do
Psalm 119:68; Proverbs 3:5
The Bible says that God is good, and what He does is good. It’s a choice to trust God