In the article, Figuring Out Phobia, on the American Psychiatric Association's website, Lea Winerman states, "More than 10 million adults in the United States suffer from some sort of phobia.."(Winerman) That's staggering!
What is fear?
Phobia - A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. (MayoClinic.org)
a : painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill
b : fearful concern or interestc : a cause of anxietyis an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. (American Psychiatric Association)2: an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it
There are over 400 verses that speak about various forms of fear. Though some deal contextually about reverencing God, more of them deal with the negative emotional aspect. This includes 103 instances where God's people were encouraged to, "Fear not.." For those of us who have experienced traumatic events this may be a struggle. But remember,
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)
And the enemy, our adversary, the devil, would like nothing more than to keep us imprisoned in fear; impeding our goals, relationships and life at every level. We know that fear is the opposite of faith. But it doesn't take great faith to obtain our freedom. All we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. Do you see how tiny that is?
Let's go back to those two words, "Fear not". How can we live without fear? Maybe it's best to ask, How can I keep from becoming overcome with fear?
The answer is found throughout scripture. Where ever we see "Fear not ..." there is a reason ... "for I am with you." Each time God tells us not to fear or be afraid He lets us know that He is with us.
The emotion may come, but God is yet with us. Therefore, we not be overcome with fear. One of my favorite "fear not" scriptures is found in Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (KJV)
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. (Amplified)
So, take a deep breath, let it out and let God be God in your life. Allow His peace, that surpasses all understanding keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. And remember, the weapons (devices, plans, strategies) of the enemy are going to be formed (developed and brought to fruition) but they will not prosper (be effective).