There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
I John 4:18
Fear, according to Webster, is a “strong emotion caused by anticipation of danger.” Fear produces anxiety and is a tactic the enemy uses to discourage God’s people. Discourage means to take away courage, and Nehemiah’s enemies knew that if they could make the Jews fearful, their courage to complete the task would be taken away. The enemies said: Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work. (v.11) The Jews responded by saying they feared being attacked.
Nehemiah did not give in to the fear and quickly responded by posting men with swords, spears, and bows on the lowest point of the wall at the exposed places. He then reminded them that the Lord is great and awesome and that they should go and fight for their homes and family. (v.14) Nehemiah did not allow fear to discourage the people, but instead instilled courage in them by encouraging them to have a plan and be prepared to fight.
Fear can be contagious if we are not careful. The enemy tries to take our courage away, but the Lord has a plan to fight for us when we turn to Him in prayer. He will encourage us as we prepare to stand against fear, and He will fight for us. Isaiah 43: 1-2 reminds us that the Lord is with us during anxious, fear-provoking times: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.
Heavenly Father, Fear has come in like a raging storm and continues to try to break me. Encourage me with Your Word and through prayer so that fear can be driven back, sending the storm out to sea. In Jesus’ name, Amen