3 Reminders for When You’re Tempted to be Afraid

Matt Mylin   -  

Life is full of surprises.

Sometimes, it’s a pleasant celebration, like a surprise birthday party or an unexpected visit from a friend. And, sometimes, it’s the unpleasant moment that feels like a high school pop quiz given in French class where you have no idea what’s going on (I may be speaking from experience here).

Surprises can be disorienting.

Unexpected changes to plans or routines can be disconcerting, especially for those who thrive on predictability.

Unexpected news about a loved one’s health or difficult situation can be distressing.

Unexpected expenses can cause stress and anxiety in your financial situation.

Unexpected conflicts in family relationships can be painful.

Life is full of disorienting surprises, but the good news is:

Nothing surprises God.

The Scripture says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16).

God knows and sees everything no matter what, where, and when it happens. For the godly, this news should bring reassurance. For the ungodly, this news may be disheartening (here’s how to come boldly to God’s gracious throne and receive mercy).

As I write this, I see the surprise attacks, acts of violence, and horrific murders at the hands of Hamas against Israel. My emotions range from sadness to anger that the human race has not learned how to resolve their differences without war and senseless loss of life.

But then, I remember that there is an enemy, the devil, whose only goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. Unless people turn to God, there will only be more division and hate for one another.

When I’m tempted to allow the unexpected events in our world or my personal life to cause me fear, I have to do what I’m encouraging you to do:


“For God has not given you a spirit of fear,” Paul writes, “but of power and love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

In other words, a mindset of fear, lacking in courage, shrinking back, and forgetting who you are in Christ is not from God.

1) In Christ, you are no longer a slave to fear.

You are a child of Almighty God. This means you can be strong and courageous, knowing the Lord your God is with you. When you feel afraid or go through disorienting circumstances, you can speak the words that David said, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2). 

2) You are wholly loved by God.

God’s love for you is unconditional, unlimited, abundant, and extravagant. Whether you have a lot of faith or a little bit of faith or have made one mistake or a thousand mistakes, there is nothing you can do to change how much God loves you (here are some significant reasons to hold firmly to faith during alarming times).

3) You are who God says you are and can do what God says you can do.

My mission is to help as many people as possible know that God has created them on purpose for a purpose. Knowing your God-given purpose will give you direction for your life so you don’t get distracted or disoriented by surprises.

“Without vision,” Proverbs says, “People live in unrestraint” (Proverbs 29:18). 

We need divine direction in our lives, for nothing goes well when people live in unrestraint.

Prompt: If you are struggling with fear about the future, what truth is God prompting you to meditate on from his Word?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that nothing surprises you. Help me to hold on to your unshakable word. Amen.