Shakey went to a psychiatrist. "Doc," he said, "I've got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it. I get under the bed, I think there's somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, under ... you gotta help me, I'm going crazy!""Just put yourself in my hands for two years," said the doctor. "Come to me three times a week, and I'll cure your fears.""How much do you charge?""A hundred dollars per visit.""I'll think about it," said Shakey.Six months later the doctor met Shakey on the street. "Why didn't you ever come to see me again?" asked the psychiatrist."For a hundred bucks a visit? A friend cured me for ten dollars.""Is that so! How?""He sold me a saw for ten dollars and told me to cut the legs off the bed!"

I suppose that's one way to conquer your fears! Most of us, though, have fears which are much more difficult to overcome — fear of failure, fear of dying, fear of letting others down, fear of living alone, just to name a few.

And, as you read through the Bible, you see that fear is not unique to those of us in the 21st century. One phrase that reappears over and over throughout the Bible is the phrase, "Do not be afraid!" In fact, if you're looking for a good topic for a personal or small group Bible study, take the time to see just how often — and on what occasions — that phrase and related phrases are spoken.

There is one positive attribute which is strongly contrasted to fear in the Scriptures. Jesus told his apostles and others, "Do not be afraid, only believe." It is evident that growing in faith will cause us to have less fear, and that often fear is the direct result of a struggle with our faith.

"Do not be afraid!"
If you are living in fear this day, may these words of Jesus spoken to his apostles serve as a comfort to you:

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

May you know that peace he offers ... a peace that puts to rest our fears!