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How do I overcome my fear?

Submitted: 3/11/2008
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Question: I am out in public a lot. I ride public transit, walk long distances sometimes, and even work in and use many public places. I can't help but run into violent teens, men, and women. I try to remember many times when the Bible says not to be afraid. Sometimes I can't help it though, you know how you feel something is terribly wrong? Well I do and I begin to pray. Today I was on the bus with very vulgar teens who were also very violent. I tried not to watch my back but only acknowledge them by eye contact as many passed to crowd on the already crowed bus. Before I got on the bus I had to pass two men who looked at me with hate as the other one stated you should $%&9 that up. How do I overcome my fear? Should I only give them Bible tracts if God puts it on my heart? Sometimes I don't understand how as a women I cannot be a coward. The Bible says cowards will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Answer: Overcoming fear is not a matter of getting to the place where you no longer feel afraid; it is doing what is necessary and right in spite of feeling afraid. The only difference between a hero and a coward is that the hero does not yield to his fear. It sounds to us as though you are doing a pretty good job of overcoming. In fact, we would say that the fear you feel in some of these circumstances is quite justified. When Jesus said, 'Fear not,' He was only encouraging us not to cower in fear. You are not doing that. You are continuing to go out and do what needs to be done, in spite of what you are feeling on the inside. For that we admire you greatly.