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Fear - The Common Thread

Category: Bible Inspiration

There are 7,515,284,153 billion people in the world: all very different. Different races, cultures, faiths, traditions, abilities, genetics, environments, lifestyles, upbringings, to name a few. Though, we all have one thing in common: fear. It sews through every individual.

I was blessed with the opportunity to interview a person who I had never encountered before, a lovely gentleman: quite cheerful and welcoming.
Tim Hart is a musician, worshiper, and a radio personality.

 Q. How long have you been a musician?

"I’ve been a musician since I was born! Haha, I started playing when I was 17 or 18. I picked up the guitar and was really interested in learning how to play. Ever since then I have never looked back, not even once."

Q. The topic for today is ‘Fear’. What is one of your biggest fears?

"So, I have a few fears on my list. We’ll start with my phobias. The first one is Acrophobia, and that’s the fear of heights. I get a panic attack if I'm on a bridge or somewhere similar. It would feel like I’m going to die. My second phobia, which is pretty unusual, is Trypophobia. Trypophobia is a real phobia where people are scared of clustered holes on the skin. It’s an irrational fear; as these holes don't actually exist even though, for me and many others Trypophobia is the scariest thing on this earth."

Q. Have you tried getting over these phobias?

"Nope! See, you can face heights but you can’t face the other one (Trypophobia). It’s an irrational fear; it doesn’t exist. So, there’s nowhere for you to go up to it and face it. There are images on the internet for you to have a look at... when I’m not here though!"

Q. Has fear ever captured you and put you in a state?

"Fear is the one thing in our lives that can completely keep us locked in, in terms of disabling us from going where we need to go in our lives. Completely keep us in a box. When we talk about fear I always remember a time when I was really fearful about who I am, and where I am going, what I’m doing with my life. Like, does anything even make sense to me? I became so overrun by anxiety; which is fear. Anxiety is fear to the power of 1 million.

At night I would have trouble sleeping. I would keep myself up until about half-past 2 to 3 AM because of the constant thoughts conjuring up in my mind. They’d pop up constantly, constantly, constantly. Even though I slept at 3 AM, I would be awake at 5-6 AM because I couldn’t sleep for a long period. Again, the thoughts would automatically manifest my mind the minute I woke up. I came to a point where I was so overrun by all of the thoughts, anxiety... the fear. I was basically running on energy that I didn’t have. And because of this, I ended up relying on substances to help myself cope. It went on for a while.

I became what I had feared because of fear.

Due to that, I catapulted into depression. I felt like I was done. I was like “Take me.” It was a process of getting to a space in my mind to find hope. I needed to find hope. I needed to find something to live for. I needed to find something to shoot for. I needed to find something that I could grab a hold of. I kept thinking that even though I can’t see it, I needed to project it, because to me, depression is the inability to see beyond your circumstances. You just see what’s in front of you, what you understand at this moment. So, I had to try to look beyond that and shoot forward to a situation, or a goal. I didn’t care how ridiculous it may have been, I just needed to hold on to that."

Q. You were so engulfed in the situation, what triggered you into thinking like this? Who or what came in and suggested that you find a goal/situation beyond your then current one?

"I actually went for a run! I wanted to get physically tired so that I could sleep. Therefore, I would run! I ran in the morning and again in the evening just so I could just get tired enough to sleep, but I still wouldn’t. So one day, when I was running and thinking, I came up with this idea: I should run for a cause. It then came to me. I was running due to my depression and anxiety, I should be running for the same cause; mental illnesses, because people are not aware of such.

For the next three months, I started actively running. And because I was shooting for a goal (running for mental illnesses) the three months of prep for my goal brought me out of depression, and it helped me see other opportunities. I saw that my state was not what life is about. It started lifting me up. I started feeling more confident, more liberated. I started feeling like I could do things. The box that I had put myself in felt like I could get myself out of. As hard as it was, I realised that there were probably so many people going through the same thing and that they didn’t know better. I feel like I was being prepared to share my story with people and be able to encourage someone through my events.

I was being prepared to let people know that, when you’re going through a tough time, shoot forward to something. Create a goal even if it seems unnecessary, even if it seems like you’re never going to do it. Shoot forward to it and work towards it.

I’m glad that this happened to me because now I’m wiser than before. More aware.

Maybe I’ll do this thing, this running for a cause thing. If I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t have gotten out of that situation. The most important thing I feel like in life, we need to constantly have hope. Even when the situation seems bleak, like nothing will ever go your way. One needs to continue to have hope. Hope, expectation, enthusiasm.

 It’s about having hope, having faith. It’s about trusting and believing."

What a lovely testimony.

Tim is in a place where he plays in the worship team, speaks about his faith in Christ regularly on his radio program and encourages people at work with his daily scriptural Whatsapps.

We walk around carrying bags and bags of burdens. Some, if not most, created out of fear. The fear of death, the fear of abandonment, failure, emotional pain, rejection, expression, judgement, embarrassment, the fear of the unknown. How many of these bags were we meant to carry?

I’ll open my Bible, join me.  

Question: "What does the Bible say about fear?"

The Bible mentions two specific types of fear. The first type is beneficial and is to be encouraged. The second type is a detriment and is to be overcome. The first type of fear is fear of the Lord. This type of fear does not necessarily mean to be afraid of something. Rather, it is a reverential awe of God; a reverence for His power and glory. However, it is also a proper respect for His wrath and anger. In other words, the fear of the Lord is a total acknowledgement of all that God is, which comes through knowing Him and His attributes.

Fear of the Lord brings with it many blessings and benefits. It is the beginning of wisdom and leads to good understanding (Psalm 111:10). Only fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7). Furthermore, fear of the Lord leads to life, rest, peace, and contentment (Proverbs 19:23). It is the fountain and life (Proverbs 14:27) and provides a security and a place of safety for us (Proverbs 14:26). 

Thus, one can see how fearing God should be encouraged. However, the second type of fear mentioned in the Bible is not beneficial at all. This is the “spirit of fear” mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). A spirit of fearfulness and timidity does not come from God.

However, sometimes we are afraid, sometimes this “spirit of fear” overcomes us, and to overcome it we need to trust in and love God completely. Beginning in the book of Genesis and continuing throughout the book of Revelation, God reminds us to “Fear not.”

For example, Isaiah 41:10 encourages us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Often we fear the future and what will become of us. But Jesus reminds us that God cares for the birds of the air, so how much more will He provide for His children? “So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31). Just these few verses cover many different types of fear. God tells us not to be afraid of being alone, of being too weak, of not being heard, and of lacking physical necessities. These admonishments continue throughout the Bible, covering the many different aspects of the “spirit of fear.”

In Psalm 56:11 the psalmist writes, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” This is an awesome testimony to the power of trusting in God. Regardless of what happens, the psalmist will trust in God because he knows and understands the power of God. The key to overcoming fear, then, is total and complete trust in God. Trusting God is a refusal to give in to fear. It is a turning to God even in the darkest times and trusting Him to make things right. This trust comes from knowing God and knowing that He is good.

Once we have learned to put our trust in God, we will no longer be afraid of the things that come against us.
We will be like the psalmist who said with confidence “…let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11).

May you recognise your fears and anxieties and take them to the Father.

Written and researched by: Akhona Yose