God’s Word gives us examples of those who stood bravely when faced with sudden fear.
Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
I John 4:18:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear….
Throughout God’s Word we read of God’s people being faced with “sudden fear” and emerging victorious because of their love for Him. There is no fear in love. And “whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” Let’s look at two examples of believers who loved God and put their trust in Him when faced with the temptation to fear.
The young man David had great love for God and was not afraid of Goliath. In I Samuel 17, Israel’s mighty army was at war with the Philistines and was being intimidated by one of their soldiers named Goliath. This giant taunted Israel’s army every morning and every evening for forty days (I Samuel 17:16). No Israelite soldier would accept Goliath’s challenge to fight him because they were afraid.
I Samuel 17:24:
And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man [Goliath], fled from him, and were sore afraid.
Jesse, a father of eight sons, directed his youngest son, David, to go to the Israelite’s camp to bring food for his three brothers who were soldiers. While there, David heard Goliath harassing the army. So he said:
I Samuel 17:26:
And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
Because of his great love for the living God, David himself bravely faced Goliath without fear and killed “this Philistine.” When the Philistine army saw their champion was dead, they fled (I Samuel 17:51). Israel wrought the victory because of David’s love for God. There is no fear in love.
Hezekiah, king of Judah, was not afraid of the Assyrians as he sought the Lord for deliverance. In the fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign, the powerful pagan king of Assyria, Sennacherib, set out to capture Jerusalem. He sent Rabshakeh, which is a title that represents the commander in chief, to Jerusalem with a great army. When they arrived, Hezekiah’s top men came out to meet them.
And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?
The Assyrians came to threaten and demoralize the people within the city, to fill them with fear, to get them to surrender.
Thus saith the king [Sennacherib], Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.
Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
Rabshakeh was telling the people, “Don’t listen to Hezekiah. He’s deceiving you. Neither he nor ‘The Lord’ will be able to deliver you!” Sennacherib’s messengers cried loudly to the people of Jerusalem in their own language “to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city” (II Chronicles 32:18).
In contrast to the fear that Sennacherib and his men were causing as they dishonored God, Hezekiah went to the house of the Lord to show his reverence to God, expressing his confidence in Him.
O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.
Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, O Lord, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God.
After Hezekiah prayed, God answered by way of the Prophet Isaiah.
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria:
This is the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning him….
For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
God was able to save Jerusalem because Hezekiah showed his love for God and confidently trusted in Him for deliverance.
Since there is no fear in love, and God is love (I John 4:8), then there cannot be any fear in God. Like the examples we have read about, when we bring our minds to God’s Word and keep our love for Him as our prime motivating factor, we can trust in Him and have power over fear.