Fear is an emotion all of us experience from time to time in our lives. Often it is a reasonable or semi-reasonable response of protection. My wife is afraid of snakes, period. I am a hunter, and I am afraid of the business end of a rifle. Both of those fears come from the knowledge of what can happen if a snake bites you or a rifle is discharged (intentionally or unintentionally). Many more fears are based on things that are not reasonable. There is not reason to be afraid of Friday the 13th for example, and still it is a fairly common thing. Fear of open spaces or closed spaces are not reasonable. I know of a little girl that has a diagnosed fear of rain to the point that she cannot go to school if it is raining.
The fears that really control most of us are not the phobias we might have. It is a more guttural fear. We are afraid of what others might think, of how the scenario plays out, of "what if they don't like me." These fears steal from us. Well, I know they steal from me. It is this fear that keeps us from trying the new thing, from taking the steps forward, from being all that God calls us to be.
We even fear our past, that it will come up one day and grab us by the shoestrings and drag us down. But we all have a past. None of us can say we are 100% proud of everything we have done. Tammy had a boss who would say, "It is fine to make a mistake everyday, but let it be a new mistake each day." What he was trying to say was, "Learn from the past and your mistakes so you can do better tomorrow."
But why do we really fear? We cannot control the future. We cannot change the past. The future lies in the hands of God, who will be merciful with us in all things. The past is forgiven, because God loves us through our mistakes, our mishaps, and our sins. Jesus' first words to his disciples after the resurrection were, "Peace be with you." (John 20:19) Peace is the opposite of fear.
What do you fear? Do you trust God enough to not be afraid?