A cursory glance at the world around us will show us there are many things to fear – conflicts, violence, persecution, crime, natural disasters, terrorism, economic upheavals, unemployment, discrimination, broken politics, rampant disease, and death. All this can generate an intense feeling of insecurity and fear. We carry fear for our children’s futures, our other loved ones and their safety and health, our financial situations, and our own safety and well-being.
There are many ways we can try to deal with our sense of insecurity in this world, like shutting out connection with our fellow human beings. We can try to eliminate risk by avoiding anything that might pose the danger of physical or emotional hurt. In other words, we can withdraw from living a full life. Another route we can take is to engage life while piling on safeguards to ensure that if we slip and fall, the fall won’t be too hard.
But the Bible calls us on a journey. Despite its dangers, life is an adventure in which God calls us to participate. Though there is much we can encounter that renders us insecure, we are called to walk with confidence in God’s goodness and his intentions for our lives. Instead of shielding ourselves from all that might harm us, a humble vulnerability needs to mark our lives because there is no way to love others without risk or vulnerability.
What the Bible Says About Fear
It’s no surprise that the Bible says a lot about fear, as fear can pull us down paths we ought not to go, and fear can also draw us away from what we ought to be doing. Fear makes us build fences to protect ourselves, and we make enemies of our neighbors to preserve ourselves.
Fear can also keep us from pursuing the best that God has in store for us – for instance, fear kept the people of Israel from entering the promised land because the people of that land were large. As a result, that generation wandered in the desert for forty years and perished without entering the promised land (Numbers 14; Deuteronomy 1).
Below are thirty-three Bible verses about fear that can challenge and encourage us to live well.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7, NIV
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? – Psalm 56:3-4, NIV
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7, ESV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27, ESV
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18, NIV
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. – Psalm 94:19, NIV
But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. – Isaiah 43:1, NIV
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, ESV
Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’ – Isaiah 35:4, ESV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9, NIV
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34, NIV
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7, NIV
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? – Luke 12:22-26, NIV
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?… Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. – Psalm 27:1,3, NIV
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:22, NIV
Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ – Mark 6:50, NIV
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. – Psalm 46:1-3, ESV
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. – Isaiah 41:13-14, ESV
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. – Psalm 118:6-7, ESV
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. – Proverbs 29:25, NIV
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ – Mark 4:39-40, NIV
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. – Psalm 34:7, NIV
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled. – 1 Peter 3:14, NLT
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4, ESV
Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you. – Deuteronomy 3:22, NIV
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’ – Revelation 1:17, NIV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. – Psalm 91:1-16, ESV
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ – Mark 5:36, NIV
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers. – Romans 8:38, ESV
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17, NIV
Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. – Jeremiah 42:11, NIV
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10, NIV
While we may not be in control of our circumstances, but we can trust the God who is in control. And while we may not know what the future holds for us, we can entrust ourselves in the hands of the God who does. God reminds us that he is with us and that he intends good for us.
Christian Counseling for Fear
It’s not always easy to deal with fear, but it often comes down to a choice we need to make daily – do we choose not to allow fear to control our lives by focusing on what is true about God, or will we yield to our fear and shrink back? You might still feel afraid even while you walk in what the Lord has in store for you, but you can believe that God is with you as you do so.
A Christian counselor can also help you overcome your fears. Since fears can be deeply rooted, it’s a good idea to talk them through with a counselor, who can give objective advice from a biblical perspective. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you in breaking free from fear.
“Jumping on the Beach”, Courtesy of Guille Alvarez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Jumping on the Beach”, Courtesy of Darius Bashar, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Yoga at Dawn”, Courtesy of Tim Foster, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Courage”, Courtesy of Michael Dziedzic, Unsplash.com, CC0 License