Freedom From Fear


Scripture for reflection:  Psalms 91:1-8


“Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.” Psalms 91:5-6 NLT

We are fearfully and wonderfully made – hard wired with the fear response to react to any dangerous or life threatening situations. This is the “reptilian” part of our brains that is programmed to process with super speed negative emotions such as fear, so that our bodies can react instantly to fight, flee, freeze or to appease.1 This is not an “evolutionary design flaw” – we need fear to survive in a fallen and evil world. And we need the fear of the Lord which is the foundation of true wisdom.2

We are not to be fearless but to respond with wisdom to fear less – by feeling every anxious response less. This is why we have so many scripture passages in the bible telling us, “do not be afraid.” Living in a godless and broken world, there will be terrors of the night, arrows flying in the day, disease that stalks in darkness and disasters that strike at midday.  It is only when we live in the shelter of the Most High that we will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.3We need to hear Jesus calling us, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”4

When the apostle Peter was thrown into prison by King Herod and chained between soldiers, he fell asleep and thought he was dreaming when an angel came to set him free.5 Like Jesus, he was sleeping in the midst of a storm!6 He had the peace that is beyond all human understanding.7 This was a peace that the world cannot give.8  It was a peace that came from resting in a real, personal and intimate relationship with God.

Fear enslaves as it drives us to hide from God like Adam and Eve did.9 Jesus came to set us free from being fearful slaves and to be God’s beloved children. We need the spirit of repentance to have an awakened mind to see that we are great and desperate sinners who need to turn back to God who loves us just as we are. God does not want any sacrifices or anything from us except a heart that delights and desires His Presence. 10

The discipline of spiritual practices is not a work we have to do to earn God’s love – it is the expression of our heartfelt intention to seek an intimacy with our Heavenly Father. Spiritual discipline is the simple way to hear, see, touch and taste the love languages of God. Just as we get a suntan by basking in the sun, we are to get a “Son-tan” as we experience God’s love, joy and peace, when we spend time waiting on God through meditation, prayer, devotional reading and partaking of the Holy Communion. We are to smell like the sheep of our Shepherd of Love as we exude the aroma of Christ’s patience, goodness and kindness with minds rewired to see heaven everyday in every person. We are to be exhibits of faithfulness, patience and self control as the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with the love of the indwelling Christ.11

Heaven is the house of God’s love and not simply a place in the afterlife. Jesus invites us to this house right in the midst of our anxious world. The voice of God’s messengers, through angels and saints calls on us not to be afraid by living in the house of love.12  And to experience heaven in our daily lives we need the spirit of poverty – blessed are the poor in heart for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.13

The first step into the Kingdom of Heaven is the recognition of our powerlessness and our need for the grace of God. It is waking up to the sin of lust and to confess our addiction to the need to be control of our lives. When we do so, we will surrender our will to God – not in fearful obedience but as the joyful response to God’s call to open our minds and hearts to the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit. Like the alcoholics taking the first step of the Twelve Steps programme through admitting their powerlessness over alcohol, we need to confess that we are sinners who need a power greater than ourselves, the Holy Spirit, to be saved as well as to sin less and fear less.

Facing our powerlessness is not an expression of helplessness but seeing the truth that we need a supernatural power to transform our superfast fear responses into the steadfast faith of resting in the shadow of the Almighty. It is a response of repentance to God’s invitation of intimacy with the indwelling Christ so that our minds may be illuminated and our hearts ignited with the fire of God’s love. We are hardwired with fear to survive danger in an evil world but Jesus came to rewire our minds to bring God’s love to earth and deepen the roots of faith in our hearts.  Jesus came to set us free from fear so that we can shine with the light of God’s love in a world darkened by fear:

“Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me


Lord, help to face my fears with Your Holy Spirit so that I can use them to rewire my mind and to rest in the indwelling Christ who is in me. 

Contemplatio: A Rewired Mind

  1. What are the fears that keep me from the Kingdom of Heaven?
  • How am I resting in the Shadow of the Almighty to face these fears?
  • How can I rewire my fear responses into stepping stones to build my faith?

Song of Praise

Shine Jesus Shine



  1. Dr. Pippa Grange in her book, “Fear Less” wrote:  “Your incredible, extremely complex  brain has what you could call an evolutionary design flaw.” She described how (and why) our brains create fear. But we are not a product of evolution but a loving creation of God.
  2. Psalms 111:10, NLT
  3. Psalms 91:1-6, NLT
  4. Matthew 11:28, NLT
  5. Acts 12:6-17
  6. Matthew 8:24, Mark 4:38, Luke 8:22
  7. Philippians 4:7
  8. John 14:37
  9.  Genesis 3:8
  10.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, pg 111
  11.  Romans 5:1
  12.  Inspired by Henri Nouwen Daily Reflection on 25th January 2022:

“Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, do not be afraid.” The voice uttering these words sounds all through history as the voice of God’s messengers, be they angels or saints. It is the voice that announces a whole new way of being, a being in the house of love, the house of the Lord. . . . The house of love is not simply a place in the afterlife, a place in heaven beyond this world. Jesus offers us this house right in the midst of our anxious world.”

13. Matthew 5:3

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s