Fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. whether the threat is real or imagined. The effects can cause a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. Fear can also be so intense that you feel like you’re going to die. Your pulse races, your heart pounds, you find it hard to breathe. You might even pass out while experiencing a panic attack. The key words in the definition are real or imagined.
A study by #Don Joseph Goewey, entitled, #85 Percent of What We Worry About Never Happens, found that many of our imagined calamities never materialize. He states that for the “15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning. This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.” Based on this study, I think it’s fair to say that 85 percent of what we worry about is not reality, but FEAR—(F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing as (R)eal.
I learned a valuable lesson during September 11 when the twin towers were struck. I was with my mom who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. She showed none of the visceral emotions of worry—heart-pounding, depression, or difficulty breathing. But I did. At a traffic stop, a motorist rolled down their window and told me that World War III would break out. My mom’s mind didn’t go there. She simply enjoyed the sunny fall day with me. For my mom, ignorance was bliss.
The lesson I learned is that we must exercise control of our mind and choose carefully what we perceive as the truth. I learned the importance of speaking positive, affirmative words, seeing the cup as half-full, and knowing there is always hope.
2 Chronicles 20:17, has helped me through health challenges, depression, poverty, and difficult relationships. It reads: “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you… fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
God tells us to not be afraid, or panic, or tremble in terror before our FEARs. In other words, he is with us to fight for us against our enemies and to save us. I dare you to taste and see that the Lord is good.