Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by danger, evil, or pain. It can be triggered by emotional threats from the past, insignificant issues in life, or from imaginary threats, of which 60% will never come true. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.3 million Americans suffer from fear and anxiety. Here are the top 10 most reported fears:
10. Thunder and Lightning (2%).
9. Open spaces (2.2%).
8. Confined Spaces (2.5%).
7. Flying (6.5%).
6. People or social situations (7.9%).
5. Heights (10%).
4. Darkness (11%).
3. Spiders (30.5%).
2. Death (68%).
1. Public Speaking (74%).
Fear, anxiety, and stress are all interrelated. Fear leads to anxiety, and when anxiety has registered at a physical level, we call it stress. Scripture teaches in 1 Peter 5:7 to “cast all your worry upon Jesus because he cares for you.” He also reminded us not to worry about tomorrow because the present has enough worries of its own. If Jesus commands us not to worry or be anxious, why do we? Control, lack of trust, identity issue, fear of the future?
Another way of expressing your fear is through the experience of need–there is a close connection between what you fear and what you think you need. If it’s approval from others, you will fear being criticized. If you need love, rejection is the enemy. If one desires comfort, they will fear physical pain. In your own life, do you see a connection between what you fear and what you think you need?
Fear is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible—and yet, every time one fears, God says, “Do not be afraid. I am your shield, your very great reward (Gen. 15:1).” In John 14, Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled–I have given you peace, not as the world gives, but a peace that can’t be broken. How do you overcome fear? Through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Come to Him today and receive the peace that surpasses all understanding. If you want to know how to have a relationship with God, go here.