“Do not fear, for I am with you.” Isa 41:10 NIV

The words “fear not” keep showing up in the Bible all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Why is that? Because God understands that fear is not only our biggest enemy but our constant companion, and He wants to help us overcome it. One author writes: “Think of your comfort zone as a prison you live in—a largely self-created prison. It consists of a collection of ‘can’ts, musts, must-nots,’ and other unfounded beliefs formed from all the negative thoughts and decisions you have accumulated and reinforced during your lifetime. Every fear is like a bar in that prison.”

But the good news is, because fears are feelings, the faulty ones can be removed by faith in God, and you can become free from them. Does this mean you can live totally free from fear? No, writer Michael Ignatieff says: “Living fearlessly is not the same thing as never being afraid. It’s good to be afraid occasionally. Fear is a great teacher. What’s not good is living in fear, allowing fear to dictate your choices, allowing fear to define who you are. Living fearlessly means standing up to fear, taking its measure, refusing to let it shape and define your life. Living fearlessly means taking risks, taking gambles, not playing it safe. It means refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer when you are sure that the answer should have been ‘yes.’ It means refusing to settle for less than what is your due, what is yours by right, what is yours by the sweat of your labor and your effort.” And let’s add—what God has promised and planned for you.