There are between 230 and 500 verses relating to fear in the Bible, depending on which version you have. There are notably more in the Old Testament than in the New Testament.
While it is neither advisable nor healthy to live our lives in constant fear, there are times and occasions when we do experience fear, either briefly or over a longer period.
When I lived overseas there were occasions when I experienced fear due to political unrest. I have found myself unexpectedly, facing mobs and demonstrations and on one occasion I found myself, with my children, stuck in our car on a railway crossing, with a train approaching in one direction and a riotous mob in the other! I am so grateful to God for the ways in which he enabled me to emerge from these encounters unscathed.
On another occasion, we were burgled during the night when I was at home alone with my young children. I woke to hear the door of my bedroom bang and when no child appeared at my bedside, I went to investigate. On entering the sitting room I discovered the verandah door was wide open and all the cupboard doors were open too. My heart missed a beat and having locked the verandah door, I went at once to check on the children. They were both sleeping soundly.
I then realised that I may have locked the intruders in the property, so I checked every room. In doing so my son woke up and asked what was happening! He joined me in the search and thankfully we did not find anyone. He returned to bed and having prayed for him I went into the sitting room, where I suddenly felt overwhelmed by the situation and fearful, although God had given me peace until that point. I tried to ring some friends, but understandably they did not answer their phone, since it was around 3.0a.m.!
As I stood beside the phone, I found myself thinking that rather than remain fearful and shaken, now was definitely the moment to pick up a mustard seed of faith and pray for peace, protection and a good night’s sleep. As I began to pray, these words came instantly to my mind: ‘I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone O Lord make me dwell in safety.’ (Psalm 4:8) Fear departed and I did indeed sleep soundly for the rest of the night.