Grace and peace be unto you.
“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)
Oftentimes, when we are afraid, our loved ones and well-wishers encourage us to be brave and not to fear, because God is with us. This approach seems correct and logical, but how does God respond to us when we are afraid? How does he deal with us?
The story is told that God instructed Gideon during the night to get up and go to the Midianites’ camp because he was going to give it into his hands. God knew that Gideon was afraid and so he said to him, “If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” Gideon obeyed and when he arrived, he heard a man sharing a dream with his friend. His friend interpreted the dream and said that God had given the Midianites and the whole camp into Gideon’s hands. Gideon was encouraged and worshipped God (Judges 7:9-15).
When we are afraid, God meets us where we are, which is at the point of our need. Therefore, he wants us to be honest with him and share our thoughts and feelings. He already knows them, and so, why not talk to him? He will show us how to be encouraged like Gideon, and we will accomplish our purpose. Scripture says, “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
God is all-wise and all-knowledgeable, hence he uses strategies that are tailored to our needs and situations. For example, when he called Jeremiah to prophesy, Jeremiah was afraid and told him that he was too young. God touched his mouth, put his words in it, and encouraged him to prophesy. Consequently, Jeremiah’s fear disappeared (Jeremiah 1:6-19). In another instance, God instructed Moses to speak to Pharaoh, but Moses told him that he was afraid and refused to go. God advised him to take Aaron his brother and he would speak on his behalf. Moses obeyed, he was encouraged, and his fear disappeared (Exodus 4).
God is available to help us when we are afraid. He will treat us with patience, kindness, and understanding. Furthermore, he will offer workable solutions to encourage us and combat our fears. His only expectation is that we honestly talk with him and implement the suggested solutions. It does not advance our purpose to pretend that we are brave while on the inside we are cowering with fear, the Bible says, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart” (Psalm 51:6).