What Do You Do When You're Afraid?

January 16, 2017

What Do You Do When You're Afraid?

We all have moments of fear. If we don't deal with them properly, they can take us places we never planned to go. Many harmful steps have been taken, (or missed), because of fear.

So, how do you handle fear?


Jacob was fearful and had reason to be. He had deceived his brother and run away from his wrath. He now returns after many years and his scouts tell him that Esau is coming with a great army. ""Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed,"" Genesis 32:9 tells us.

Jacob's response? He PRAYED.

Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,’I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies.

“Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. For You said, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.’ ” (Genesis 32:9-12)

Dissect the prayer and you will find it incredibly instructive for us. Jacob reminded God that He had led him to return to his own country. Jacob is on this particular path because of God’s initiation, and Jacob knew that what God initiates He protects and provides.

Jacob humbly admits his unworthiness and cries out for deliverance. He realizes that only God can protect him. He takes his fear right to the throne of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

But the clincher is found in verse 12 as Jacob reminds God of his promises. “For YOU said,” Jacob prays. “You made a promise, Lord, and I am trusting in Your faithfulness to Your promises.""

Jacob remembered God's Word and His promises and handles His fear by rehearsing and resting on the promises of God through prayer.


There are 7,000 promises from God to us in the Bible. They are given for our direction, but also for our comfort. They are expressly there to take us from fear to faith. And, they are there for us today and every day. God longs for us to turn to Him instantly in prayer when we are fearful or distressed and to take Him at His word.

Are you worried about anything this week or in this season of your life? You will either try to handle it yourself, resulting in increasing fear and distress, or go to God and His Word in prayer and sit down in faith on the promises of God.

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

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