We so often tell ourselves in times of fear – “I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid”, repeating this over and over. Does this really help us when we are afraid? No, all we do is focus on fear. It is the same as the example I gave in one of the previous blogs about fear. When you tell a child, “Don’t fall”, their focus will be on falling, even though you say “don’t”. I have found that actually admitting that you are afraid is the first step in overcoming the fear. Your reaction that follows after admitting that you are afraid is what is important.
The first example that I want to look at is Jesus. When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane to pray before He knew that He will be betrayed and crucified, He was afraid. Who will not be fearful if they knew that they will be murdered shortly. Jesus knew what He had to face.
In Matthew 26 from verse 36 to 46 we can read about when Jesus went to pray in the garden of Gethsemane and told the disciples to stay there while He went to pray.
Verse 37 to 39 (NKJV)
“And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me. “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Verse 37 to 39 (NLT)
“He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Verse 37 to 39 (AMP)
“And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.” And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Jesus found them sleeping and went back to pray the same prayer twice after this.
In the three translations above it says how Jesus felt, in brackets the meaning from the internet. Jesus was sorrowful (feeling or showing grief), anguished (experiencing or expressing severe mental or physical pain or suffering), grieved (feel intense sorrow) and deeply, greatly distressed (suffering from extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain). The feelings alone that He was experiencing was causing him to die. That is how bad Jesus felt leading us to His death. He even expressed His feelings to Peter, James and John. Jesus was afraid to such an extent that Jesus asked God to let this cup of suffering pass Him. But the most important part of Jesus’ prayer was when He said NEVERTHELESS/YET not as I will, BUT as You will.
Even though Jesus was afraid and He admitted it, He trusted God.
In Luke 1 from verse 26 to 38 the angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her that she will give birth to the Son of God. Mary was a virgin and was not yet married, and now she will give birth to a child and to top it off the Son of God! I’m sure she was afraid for various reasons.
Verse 28 to 31 (NKJV)
“And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.”
In this extremely confusing moment in Mary’s life, she was afraid and she didn’t think that she was the right person for this. But after the angel Gabriel told her that nothing is impossible for God, she said the following in verse 38:
“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
With those powerful words, Mary’s whole life changed. In her obedience to the Lord, she found peace and reassurance. And that right there is the God, Jesus and Holy Spirit reaction instead of the fight or flight reaction, to give control over to God and to focus on Him not only in fearful situations, but in ANY situation!
When you are faced with fearful situations, admit that you are afraid and how you feel to God, and always through all of it, TRUST GOD. He will never leave you nor forsake you!! (Hebrews 13:5)