Scripture is very clear that we should not fear, with over 350 verses urging us to be fearless. But how does God respond to fear when it springs up?
In Genesis 6, after the flood, Noah probably had some fear in his heart. He had just seen the entire world drowned, with only his family surviving. There’s nothing like a worldwide flood to let you know that you’re not in control. God responds by putting His rainbow in the clouds, as a promise of his everlasting covenant to never again let a flood destroy all life. He saw Noah’s fear and wrote His promise in the sky.
In Genesis 15, we see Abraham’s fears play out. He had been promised a child, but he was advancing in years and fighting in wars. It’s very likely he was afraid that he would die and his legacy would end. He couldn’t control the fact that he was childless and that his wife was barren. God responded to his fear in Genesis 15:5 by telling him to look at the stars. So shall your descendants be. He saw Abraham’s fear and wrote His promise in the stars.
Keep in mind that both Noah and Abraham lived before the scriptures, so they had no scripture to look at. Today, we have access to His Word, which includes every promise He has made to us, written out in black and white.
When my daughter was born, I couldn’t sleep for months because I was terrified she would stop breathing the second I closed my eyes. I vividly remember the night God whispered to me, “You can’t breathe for her, but you can trust Me.”
It is so easy to fear things that are out of our hands. So often, we have no way to control the situation, but we can control our response to the situation. For me personally, God showed me that I needed to respond to my fear with a declaration of faith in His Word. I wrote down Psalm 4:8 on a note card next to my bed: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety and confident trust.”
I repeated those words every night until I was able to respond to that fear rising up in me with faith-based authority, knowing that the Lord was watching over us.
“I sought the Lord [on the authority of His word], and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4
So how does God respond to fear? He reminds us of His promises so that we can replace our fear with faith. Scripture tells us that He made a promise to Noah in the sky, He made a promise to Abraham in the stars, and then He came to earth in human form to make a promise to us on the cross.
How amazing to serve a God who has never broken a promise.