Confronting Fear: 10 Examples of Fear in the Bible

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Fear is a common emotion that can grip anyone at any time, but the Bible offers plenty of examples of people who overcame their fear through faith and trust in God.

In this article, we’ll explore 10 examples of fear in the Bible and how individuals confronted and conquered their fears. These examples serve as a reminder that confronting fear is possible and that faith and fear can coexist. Let’s dive in!

Gideon’s Fear and God’s Reassurance (Judges 6-7)

Have you ever felt fearful or hesitant about taking on a big challenge? If so, you’re not alone. Even Gideon, a brave warrior and leader of Israel, experienced fear when God called him to lead his people against the powerful Midianites.

Gideon was so intimidated by the task ahead of him that he asked for multiple signs from God to reassure him of his calling.

One of the most famous signs was the fleece test, where Gideon asked God to make a fleece he placed outside overnight wet with dew but the ground around it dry. When God did as Gideon asked the following morning, Gideon still requested another sign, asking God to reverse the results.

In addition to the fleece test, God also gave Gideon a dream in which a Midianite soldier told of their impending defeat. Through these signs, God reassured Gideon of his calling and emboldened him to lead his army against the Midianites.

So if you ever find yourself feeling afraid or hesitant, remember Gideon’s example. God can provide the reassurance and signs you need to overcome fear and fulfill your calling, just as He did for Gideon.

Gideon's Fear and God's Reassurance

Gideon’s Journey from Fear to Courage

ActionsOutcome
Gideon receives the call to lead Israel against MidianitesFear and hesitation
God confirms Gideon’s calling through the signs of the fleece test and the Midianite soldier’s dreamReassurance and faith in God
Gideon leads Israel into battle against the MidianitesVictory and courage

Ananias of Damascus: Overcoming Fear through Obedience

If you were approached by God to visit Saul, a notorious persecutor of Christians, what would you do? Ananias of Damascus faced this exact scenario and was understandably fearful.

However, he recognized the importance of obedience to God and overcame his fear to play a crucial role in Saul’s transformation into the apostle Paul.

Ananias’ obedience is a testament to the power of faith over fear. By putting his trust in God and putting fear aside, Ananias was able to change the course of history through Saul’s transformation. This story inspires us to let go of our fears and trust in God’s plan for our lives.

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.'” – Acts 9:15 (NKJV)

Ananias of Damascus Table

Ananias of Damascus
Actions of Ananias of DamascusOutcome
Expressed fear when God commanded him to visit SaulAnanias obeyed God’s command and visited Saul despite his fear
Played a crucial role in Saul’s transformation into the apostle PaulThe conversion of Saul into a believer and preacher of the Gospel
 The start of the missionary work that would bring Christianity to the Gentiles

In this table, we can see how Ananias’ obedience and faith overcame his fear. Through his courage, he was able to be a part of the transformation of Saul into Paul, a pivotal moment in the spread of Christianity.

As we can see from the story of Ananias of Damascus, fear can be a barrier to achieving greatness. By trusting in God and having faith in His plan, we can overcome our fears and make a significant impact on the world.

Moses and Fear at the Burning Bush (Exodus 3-4)

When Moses was challenged by God to confront Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he exhibited fear and insecurity. Despite his doubts, God provided Moses with signs, assurance, and the help of his brother Aaron to accomplish his mission.

Through a burning bush, God spoke to Moses and tasked him with delivering the Israelites from slavery. Moses was initially hesitant and afraid, questioning his ability to lead such a massive group of people. However, God promised to be with him every step of the way and even showed Moses signs to attest to His power.

“And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So, I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians… Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.'”

(Exodus 3:7-10)

Even with God’s assurance, Moses still expressed insecurity and doubt, stating that he was “slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10). However, God provided Moses with Aaron, his brother, to serve as a spokesperson and assist him in leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

The story of Moses and his fear at the burning bush teaches us that even great leaders can experience moments of uncertainty and insecurity. However, with God’s signs and assurance, we can overcome our fears and accomplish great things.

The Signs God Provided to Moses

SignDescriptionSource
The burning bushA bush that burned but was not consumedExodus 3:2-3
Moses’ staff turning into a serpentMoses’ simple staff transformed into a serpent and then back into a staffExodus 4:3-4
Moses’ hand turning leprousMoses’ hand became leprous and then was healed againExodus 4:6-7
The Nile river turning into bloodThe Nile river and all the water in Egypt turned into bloodExodus 7:14-21

God provided Moses with signs and assurance to overcome his fear and accomplish great things in leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses and the Burning Bush

The Israelites’ Fear at the Red Sea (Exodus 14)

As the Israelites fled Egypt, they faced an overwhelming obstacle when they reached the Red Sea. Behind them, the Egyptian army pursued, and in front of them, a seemingly impassable body of water. Fear quickly consumed them, and they cried out to Moses in desperation.

However, God had a miraculous plan in store. He parted the waters of the Red Sea, creating a path for the Israelites to cross to safety. Not only did God protect them from the Egyptian army, but He also demonstrated His power and faithfulness to the Israelites.

Red Sea

This miraculous parting of the waters still stands as a testament to God’s sovereignty and the power of faith, reminding us that even when we face seemingly insurmountable challenges, we can trust in God’s plan.

Elijah’s Fear after Confrontation (1 Kings 19)

Even the strongest prophets can experience fear. After Elijah’s successful confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he fled in terror when Queen Jezebel threatened his life.

Elijah’s story reminds us that fear can strike anyone at any time, even after moments of great triumph. However, with faith and courage, we can overcome our fears and continue to fulfill God’s plan for our lives.

Elijah's Fear

“And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:3-4)

Zacharias’ Fear in the Temple (Luke 1:5-25)

The story of Zacharias and his fear in the temple is a powerful example of how faith can overcome even the most paralyzing fear. When Zacharias was visited by an angel in the temple, he was initially afraid.

The angel had come to announce the birth of Zacharias’ son, John the Baptist, but Zacharias was consumed by his fear and disbelief.

However, the angel reassured Zacharias and told him that his prayers had been heard, and that his son would be a great prophet. Despite his initial fear, Zacharias trusted in the angel’s words and his faith allowed him to become an integral part of God’s plan.

Like Zacharias, we may face moments of fear and uncertainty in our lives. Yet, through faith and obedience, we can overcome these challenges and discover our own role in God’s plan.

Birth of John the Baptist

“Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”

The Disciples’ Fear in the Storm

During their time with Jesus, His disciples witnessed numerous miracles revealing His divine power and authority over nature and supernatural forces.

One such incident occurred during a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, which almost capsized their boat, causing them to fear for their lives.

Despite their panic, Jesus remained calm and was sleeping peacefully in the back of the boat. Frightened and bewildered, the disciples woke Him up, crying out, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” (Luke 8:24 NIV).

Responding to their plea, Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves, commanding them to calm down. “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Mark 4:39 NIV)

The astonished disciples marveled at their Master’s power and exclaimed, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!” (Matthew 8:27 NIV).

This powerful display of Jesus’ supremacy over nature not only calmed the raging storm but also instilled in the disciples a profound faith and trust in Him, even in the most perilous of situations.

Jesus Calming the Storm

Overcoming Fear with God’s Protection (Various Bible Examples)

Throughout the Bible, we see numerous examples of individuals overcoming fear through God’s protection. One such example is Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, who was surrounded by the Syrian army. Despite his fear, Gehazi trusted in God’s protection, and the army was struck with blindness.

The shepherds who witnessed the angels announcing Jesus’ birth also experienced fear. However, they were reassured that they need not fear as the Savior was born that day. They were then protected by God as they returned home.

Pilate’s wife is another example of an individual who experienced fear. She had a troubling dream about Jesus and warned her husband not to condemn Him. Her fear was a sign from God to protect Jesus.

In all these examples, we see that when we trust in God and His protection, we can overcome our fears. No matter how daunting the situation may seem, we can rely on His protection, just as these individuals did.

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Allan Wilson is the creator of the Scriptural Thinking Affirmations Package. Featuring over 200 minutes of mp3 audio Bible affirmations complete with background music. The package comes with the original affirmations PDF ebook and many bonus affirmation Bible studies as well. The affirmations are designed to help you call to remembrance all of the wonderful benefits of being in Christ and the marvelous privilege of being a child of God.