If you’ve never suffered from a major phobia, like the fear of heights (acrophobia), it’s hard to imagine how paralyzing it can be. Almost one in three American adults will struggle with a major anxiety at some point in their lives. And more than three million currently suffer through post-traumatic stress disorder, which is triggered by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event.
Recently, researchers in the Netherlands have discovered that fear could actually be erased by administering a beta-blocker called propranolol to patients who are being temporarily re-exposed to a fearful object or event. The drug treatment appears to erase some of the person’s memory. The chemical “disrupts the way a memory is put back in storage after it is retrieved—a process called reconsolidation." Preliminary tests show mixed results.
Of course, not all fears are bad. There are situations that should raise a healthy sense of fear in each one of us.
Sadly, billions all over the planet are suffering with fear over volatile world conditions. From famine and floods, terror and rumors of war, and from political violence to economic woes, the people of Planet Earth are afraid of what might come just around the corner. Even some skeptics believe we're closer than ever to the end of the world. Have you ever heard of the "Doomsday Clock"?
However, Christians don't need a pill to escape fears that stem from end-time events. They know one of the best treatments for this kind of anxiety is God’s Word, which provides compassionate guidance on dealing with anxiety. Bathe your mind in truth that comes from the Bible: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3). “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). “Do not be afraid… for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). “Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you” (Psalm 55:22).
The most important message in all these passages is that when we face fearful situations, whether real, imagined, or anticipated, we are not alone. God promises to walk beside us. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). King David witnessed many traumatic events, but found peace in God’s presence. God's hand will cover His people and give them strength.
As we near the final great groans of Planet Earth before the second coming, remember to put all your faith and trust in Jesus. Regardless of the economic woes around you, the battle over immorality, or natural disasters, putting your heart in the hand of God will help you stand fearlessly through the coming storm.
Editor's Note: If you have been incapacitated by a phobia, you might have been bluntly told to say a prayer and get over it. Such responses do not reflect the compassionate heart of God. We should never stand in judgment over those who explore using medications as a temporary step in their journey to healing. But let us not overlook the first step to any difficulty we face—seeking God’s wisdom.