noun 1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm. Antonyms: courage, security, calm, intrepidity. 2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights. Synonyms: phobia, aversion; bête noire, bogy, bogey, bugbear. Antonyms: liking, fondness, penchant, predilection. 3. concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone's safety. 4. reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God. Synonyms: awe, respect, reverence, veneration. 5. something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of: Cancer is a common fear. 6. anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur: Having grown up during the Great Depression, he had a constant fear of running out of money.
Fear is a real feeling (emotion) that has been given to us by God. Research from the University of Glasgow has challenged the established view that there are six basic emotions: anger, fear, surprise, disgust, happiness and sadness. They pontificate that there are just four basic emotions. The theory is that there are four biologically basic emotions–anger, fear, happiness and sadness–on top of which have evolved much more complex varieties of emotion over the millennia.
There is real fear and then there is the outcome of the unknown. That is, to say, whether the fear is real or perceived real it still gives us a natural response. The question is how should we respond to both types of fears as a Christian. Each one of us are fearfully and wonderfully made as Scripture tells us so. Because of this, each one of us are different and will respond differently to all types of circumstances.
The word "fear" is found 353 times in 340 verses in the ESV Bible translation. Do you think the Bible has some things to teach us about fear? I sure do.
Fear in the Bible (Various Passages):
- Genesis 9:2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.
- Deut. 6:2 that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
- Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[fn]
- 2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
The Bible gives us a Road Map on facing fears (source: www.belief.net :
- I Will Fear No Evil: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
- I will help You: For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
- Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid? The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
- We Say With Confidence "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6)
- Peace I Leave With You Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)