The human heart is encumbered with fear and uncertainties. It’s so engrossed with the fear of the present and of the future that’s why it’s always wondering what the next step in life would be. The fear of uncertainties are the more heightened by the unpleasant global events happening around us – the genocides, ritual killings, wars, outbreak of epidemics, terrorism, political uprisings, and so on. These happenings don’t just cause normal fear, but they also cause mass hysteria. People are in dire need of help.

I am not afraid of the dark

I am afraid of what I cannot see

Find a fire, light a spark

Make all the shadows flee

Paralyzed by fear; I’m still

I am afraid of the unknown

I search inside to find the will

To move forward on my own

For so long I thought I was alone

I was afraid of what I couldn’t see

Until I learned that I was wrong

I let go of the fears and let it be

I found the light I was looking for

It was with me all along

Inside myself there is a door

To the One upon the Throne,

He walks with me through the darkness

I need not see what lies ahead

I need not fear what’s in the future

I need not feel the dread

He’s my light and my redeemer

He shows me the way to go

Through the fire and darkness

I will not go alone

Jesus loves me and my fears are gone

He lights the pathways I am to travel

I will trust in Him and keep on

I will watch my fears unravel

Chris Tomlin, “Whom then shall I fear?”

Although we all know fear is a negative emotion, somehow it had become a part of our existence. Many people live everyday of their lives with this unpleasant, crippling emotion, which has resulted in various kinds of emotional disorders: anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, behavioural disorder and personality disorder. Almost anything makes people fearful these days. While some are afraid of situation such as social rejection, failure, unknown future and happenings around them, some are scared of creatures such as cockroaches, spiders, snakes and dogs. Some are afraid of fellow human beings who they consider powerful, deadly and mischievous because of their political influence, social status, criminal minds, or evil make-up and yet others are fearful of even nature in all its beauties.

Fear has varying degrees. It varies from mild caution to extreme phobia and paranoia. It may manifest as mere anxiety over something or as an extremely strong dislike or dread for something, resulting in anxiety disorder. This later degree of fear, which is irrational and disabling, is called phobia. Clinical psychologists have identified different kinds of phobia and some very weird ones include:

Ablutophobia (fear of bathing, washing or cleaning)

Aquaphobia (fear of water)

Gamophobia (fear of getting married)

Decidophobia (fear of making decision)

Ergophobia (fear of work or workplace)

Cherophobia (fear of happiness)

These phobias, of course, paralyse a person’s life as well as his relationship with people. Perhaps the weirdest and most gripping phobia is Prosophobia (fear of progress). Different acronyms are used for the word fear, just to describe the characteristic effects of the emotion in the lives of people. Fear is acronymed: “False Experience Appearing Real” because most of the perceived threats that induce it are not real but imagined. Most people have imaginative fear, that is, fear of nothing. Fear is also: “Frightening Experience Altering Reality.” People have certain frightening experiences in life from which they never recover. Someone who was involved in an auto crash, for instance, may become perpetually scared of driving or riding in an automobile. He may even have Hodophobia (fear of travelling generally) or Motorphobia (fear of traveling in a car or an automobile).

Fear is slavish, crippling and sickening. Fear is a very powerful emotion that causes physical and mental ailments. It can also inhibit interpersonal relationships. Physical ailments caused by fear range from dizziness, chest tightness, shortness of breath, shakiness to even nervous breakdown. So, we must decease from every symptom of fear. Fear has never done anyone good. Then worrying?

There is no doubt that life is filled with challenges. The world itself is full of turmoil and grief. Sometimes, challenges seem heavy to bear or cope with; they tend to discourage and weigh you down. It’s possible that you’re going through a rough time right now. Well, you don’t need to be dejected if you are.

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