How to Conquer Fear?

Vladimir Basenkov replies.
Vladimir Basenkov | 08 July 2020

Fear is the weapon of the devil. Anxiety, agitation and panic attacks not only make us less resistant to manipulation, but also simply poison our lives. How to cope with obsessive states and overcome the feeling of fear?

Fear is given to man by God for self-preservation. Understanding the sense of danger allows people to stop in time and make perhaps the only right decision at the moment – to protect themselves by any means. The threats to life and health can be considered basic human fears that have helped a person to survive. The fear of God and the fear of death as an irreversible phenomenon also act, in a certain sense, as restraining factors that force people to stop on the path of spiritual self-destruction.

But fear is insidious, like the father of lies, who hastily took this powerful weapon into his arsenal. A person has the ability to think, to actually create their personal, special reality through the activity of their brain. We think a lot. And the games of our mind sometimes lead us to obsessive states. We often draw images and pictures in our minds, repeatedly playing them through our minds, and then we live with fears, agitation, phobias and anxiety for years. And the time comes, when we should rather show our will, but we find ourselves constrained by the strong chains of our fears, which we once voluntarily put in ourselves.

Sometimes we are afraid of showing our faith or standing up for it in a public discussion. We are scared to face troubles: lose our job, get sick, or become poor. We are afraid of someone else’s censure and public opinion, we are afraid of people and their reactions. It seems to us that we won’t succeed and we won’t manage to do something, and therefore we don’t even try to do what our heart longs for. It’s strange, because we are Christians, followers of the teachings of the Son of God, who is Alpha and Omega, capable of changing the reality for each of us, no matter what we ask in prayer with faith.

All the hairs on our heads are counted, we don’t need to worry about what to eat, drink and what to wear. Christ asks us to not be afraid, but to believe in Him, and with His help we will surely overcome any difficulties. While sailing on the sea with the Apostles, the Savior stopped the storm. In fact, the Lord intervened in the natural process, “edited” reality and changed it in a matter of minutes. A miracle is the intervention of God in the order of things that are taking their course. That is why, after a prayer with petitions for particular needs in the life of believers, a series of pleasant events suddenly begin to occur. The Lord does not leave us. He will remain with us until the end of time.

During the storm on the sea, Christ asked the frightened Apostles if they were of little faith. We are no better: we fill our whole day with heavy sighs, worries, sad thoughts, anxieties and fears. How to change this situation? “When faith awakens in you, then even in the midst of turbulent worries, water will not flood your ship, your faith will command winds and waves, and danger will pass away,” wrote Blessed Augustine. Start with remembering that God is with you. Next pray and do not stop until your heart calms down in the face of the fear that has arisen. Ask the Lord and His saints for help. Confess. Think about why does fear strike you so often? Could it be that you are doing something wrong? Improve yourself in virtues. And over time, you will feel that peace, calm, joy and love will take the place of fears and anxieties in your heart.

Trust in God. Talk with Him. Open up to Him. Ask Him for help, without feeling embarrassed, in any little thing and in the most ordinary everyday deed. The stresses of the proud civilization are the result of the loss of normal mystical consciousness among Christians. We are connected with God by Holy Baptism and depend on Him. Call the name of Christ often and keep peace in your heart. Then, there will be no trace of your fears.

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