Fear can be devastating. Why? Because it breeds more fear! And the most insidious thing about fear is its ability to exaggerate. C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general of the United States, observed, ‘People just have an inappropriate sense of what is dangerous.’
Do you fear flying? The fact is, you’re more likely to die from choking on a piece of food than in a commercial airline crash. Are you afraid of dying in a robbery? You’re twice as likely to be killed playing a sport than you are to be stabbed to death by a stranger. Are you afraid of sharks? Every year farmyard pigs slay more people than sharks do. Are you worried about having surgery? You’re sixteen times more likely to die in a car crash than you are from surgical complications.
Seldom do the things we fear come to pass. In our minds we conceive coming disasters that will likely never happen. And when they don’t occur, we think, ‘That was a close one!’ The truth is—our thoughts were the only things creating potential danger for us.
So how should you deal with your fears? By practising the truth of this Scripture: ‘You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].’ (Isaiah 26:3–4 AMPC)