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The Power of Fear

November 2, 2016

This is going back a few years, but a freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High, won first prize at the greater Idaho Falls Science Fair on April 26, 1997. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science, and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project, he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control, or total elimination, of the chemical dihydrogen monoxide.

And for plenty of good reasons: It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting. It is a major component in acid rain. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state. Accidental inhalation can kill you. It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients. (A quick search on the internet today will reveal entire websites dedicated to public awareness of the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.)

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name derived from di = 2 hydrogen and mono = 1 oxide (H2O) for water.

How easily we can be misled down a path of fear. Entertain a negative thought for even a moment, and it can translate into crippling fear. The incredible truth is that the vast majority of things we fear are not real and never come to pass; but the time we waste giving attention to our fears is very real and hinders our lives in incalculable ways.

The Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, so feared for his safety that his residence in Moscow contained eight bedrooms. Each night Stalin chose a bedroom at random to ensure that no one knew exactly where he was sleeping. Louis Pasteur is reported to have had such an irrational fear of dirt and infection, he refused to shake hands. President and Mrs. Benjamin Harrison were so intimidated by the newfangled electricity installed in the White House, they didn’t dare touch the switches. If there were no servants around to turn off the lights when the Harrisons went to bed, they slept with them on.

But fear doesn’t have to reign in your life. Fear gets taken out at the knees, by faith. As one writer said, “Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.” Faith is the key to living free of fear. Our faith is not blind belief that “everything will just work itself out.” No, our faith is confidently placed in the One who loves us infinitely. John understood the magnitude of that love and its power to eradicate fear, when he wrote, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Both fear and faith invite you to believe in something which has not yet happened. Determine today to accept only faith’s invitation. Place your trust firmly in the perfect love of God and fear will not survive!