What We Fear, We Will Avoid – Encouragement for Today – February 22, 2024

Proverbs 31 Ministries banner

Lysa TerKeurstFebruary 22, 2024

What We Fear, We Will Avoid

Lee en español

"The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them." Psalm 34:7 (NIV)

A few years ago, one of my back teeth started hurting. It wasn't the first time that tooth had given me trouble, but quite honestly, I just didn't want to deal with it.

I'd had not one, not two, but three crowns done on that same tooth. The first one broke. The second one broke. And though the third one seemed like it would finally work, the tooth started aching again. Ugh!

The dentist informed me the only thing to do was to have a root canal.

But fear overcame my heart, and I just couldn't bring myself to schedule it.

So I dealt with the throbbing pain ... for a full year. I didn't chew on that side of my mouth. I didn't let cold drinks leak over to that side. And I took ibuprofen when the throbbing got the best of me.

Finally I'd had enough. The pain overrode the fear, and I made the dreaded appointment.

And you know what? I survived! Actually, the fear of the root canal was so much worse than having the procedure done.

I think fear often plays out that way. Sometimes living in fear of what might be causes more stress and anxiety than actually facing what we fear.

Maybe you can relate. Is there something you're avoiding because you're afraid?

Psalm 34:7 reminds us, "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them" (NIV). To fear the Lord means to honor Him and magnify Him in our hearts more than anyone or anything else. But when I focus on or magnify my lesser, anxious fears, they become all I can think about.

Instead, here are three things we can do to focus on God today:

  1. Cry out to Him with honest prayers. Verbalize to God what you're afraid of and how paralyzing the fear is. Ask Him to help you discern if there is any truth to this fear.
  2. Open your Bible, and look for verses that show you what He wants you to do in that moment of fear. Write down truths, and then align your next thoughts and actions with His Word.
  3. Move forward. We may not always live fear-free, but we can choose not to let fears about tomorrow steal our joy for today.

Is there an everyday fear holding you back? Is it a fear of confronting an issue with a friend? Is it a fear of stepping out in obedience to God? Is there fear surrounding a medical diagnosis you just received?

Oh friend, if I were with you right now, I would totally hold your hand. But better yet, God is with you. And when you know He is with you and His angels are encamped around you, you can face your fears.

Dear Lord, as fears threaten to overcome me, I pray Your comfort would embrace me. Help me bring my fears into the light and fix my thoughts on the truths in Your Word. Instead of getting worked up over what I'm afraid of, I want to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


What would your life look like if you were no longer paralyzed by fear or stuck dwelling on worst-case scenarios? Here's the good news: God has given us His Word, the most powerful tool to overcome these thought patterns. That's why we created our new devotional, Renew Your Mind: 40 Days To Quiet the Lies Inside Your Head, with scriptures to encourage you — and for a limited time, you can get a copy as a FREE gift when you donate $5 or more to Proverbs 31 Ministries! Start renewing your mind here!



Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.


Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles" (NIV).

Why is it sometimes hard to express your fears to God? How does God's Word encourage you that you're not alone and that God longs to be present with you in your fears?

We'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106