“I was a slave to fear”
When I was 13 years old, I was suddenly taken to the hospital for surgery. Doctors found a cyst in my skull that was pressing on my brain. It had been there my whole life and they told me it was a miracle that I did not have any brain damage and that I hadn’t been paralysed as a young child. The surgery was completely successful and I went back to a normal teenager life, after a time of recovery. But after a time, I started thinking that my miracle might run out soon, and that I didn’t have any future to look forward to.
This hopeless way of thinking led to other fears – fear of losing my job, fear of not having enough money, fear of having a car accident, and fears surrounding my family and friends. Anything I felt I couldn’t control gave me a lot of stress. For many years these fears, even if they were completely crazy or most unlikely to happen, were very real for me. They were often very strong, and controlling my thoughts and actions.
After a time, I realised that all these fears were getting far too much control over me and they were only making me very unhappy. As I started to think about the reasons why I did certain things in certain situations, I realised how often my fears made me say or do things that hurt other people. I felt like I was a slave to fear, and I really had a longing to be free!
Fear is a spirit
In the Bible it says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. I read this verse and I decided that I would believe it exactly as it was written. That fear, although it was very real for me, was not from God. I came to understand that fear is a spirit – it is an “enemy” that is not part of me but is something that I can fight against. (Ephesians 6:12.) The spirit that God gives me is full of power – power to overcome that spirit of fear, so that it can be replaced by love, thankfulness and hope. I decided that I would never again let it control my life.
With this decision, I fought against these thoughts. I checked my thoughts in each situation, looked to see if there was any fear there, and I prayed to God that He would give me that spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Over time, I took each specific area of fear and worked with it. Every time those thoughts came up, I asked God for help to overcome them.
Now, I can say that I have really overcome fear to a great extent! I am much more able to see fear when it comes up, and then I can quickly pray and ask God for help to overcome. Fear, once a giant I thought would be impossible to overcome, has become an enemy that I now know how to fight. I sometimes still feel this powerful fear, but I have experienced that when I cry out to God, He comes to my side and gives me the power I need to overcome.
And I have seen many miracles in my life. Hopelessness has been replaced with “thoughts of a hopeful future,” which are God’s thoughts for me. (Jeremiah 29:11.) I have learned to place my life in His hands completely and trust that He sends everything for my very best.
Verses that were weapons for me
God’s word has exactly what I need, and there I also found the “weapons” to overcome when I was tempted to give in to these feelings of fear. Here’s a list of verses that especially helped me:
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13.
“There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.” 1 John 4:18 (GNT).
“Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.” Philippians 4:6 (NCV).
“He rescued [saved] me from my powerful enemies and from all those who hate me - they were too strong for me. When I was in trouble, they attacked me, but the Lord protected me. He helped me out of danger; he saved me because he was pleased with me.” Psalm 18:17-19 (GNT).
“When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honor them. I will reward them with long life; I will save them.” Psalm 91:15-16 (GNT).
“While Jesus lived on earth, he prayed to God and asked God for help. He prayed with loud cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and his prayer was heard because he trusted God.” Hebrews 5:7 (NCV).
“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” Hebrews 10:35 (NLT).