Fear – an appropriate response?

By Dave Henning / December 11, 2018

“Fear can be an appropriate response to the dangers of life in a fallen world, but we must not let it rule our hearts.  Fear is a good thing in the face of danger, but it makes a cruel god.”- Paul David Tripp

Paul David Tripp concludes Chapter 4 of Suffering with the fourth through seventh details of our awareness and fear struggle.

4.  Fear is forgetful.  Suffering assaults your mind with all sorts of things to consider.  As a result, it’s easy for you to lose sight of things that function as your motivation, comfort, security, and rock of hope.  In fact, you may practically forget them.  Therefore, to fight forgetfulness and the fear it produces, you must intentionally sit down and recount all the ways God has shown His love to you.  God guides you, provides for you, protects you, and meets you with His grace and mercy.

5.  Fear becomes your new lens and guide.  Since no one this side of eternity lives a fear-free life, Pastor Tripp advises that there’s one thing we all need to fight against.  We must not make fear the lens through which we view life.  Nor can fear guide how we make our decisions.  The author explains:

“When fear rules your heart, you don’t see or think about life accurately.  You function with distorted vision that causes you to make wrong conclusions and bad decisions. . . .  So you have to fight to see life through the eyes of faith and not through the lens of fear.”

6.  Fear’s only defeated by fear.  As Pastor Tripp stresses, there’s only one solution to fear of situations, locations, or people.  And that’s the fear of God.  So when you fear God, the equation isn’t you compared to the size of your problem.  Rather, it’s your God compared to the size of your problem.

7.  Fear is temporary; God’s loving care is eternal.  In the eternal scheme of things, fear and suffering won’t last forever.  Also, suffering doesn’t determine your destiny.  Instead, God alone does.  And He’s amazing in power and grace!

Today’s question: When is fear an appropriate response, and when does it rule your heart?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Envy never rests – morphs into anger”

About the author

Dave Henning

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