The Bible has a lot of things to say about fear. When doing a word search for scripture, I use Biblegateway.com. Typing in the right word or phrases make the difference. For this devotion, I found verses that contained the key word: afraid. Which means: feeling fear or anxiety; frightened.
While searching for verses I was reminded of a time years ago when the Lord gave me three particular verses to help me through a situation I was experiencing.
I have what is commonly referred to as “stage fright”:
“Stage fright or performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience.” (Wikipedia)
Yes, those of you that know me think I am not being truthful since I have stood up in front of small groups and groups of hundreds to present on various topics.
I have selective stage fright. It only grabs me when it comes to a solo musical presentation whether it is singing or playing the violin. Solo means performing by yourself.
The first time I had a severe bout of fear, on this particular day I was going to sing a duet with a friend of mine in church. I was prepared, we had practiced but suddenly before I ever left the house that morning, fear griped me tight. I started to sweat and tremble. My stomach was churning.
I began to pray for calmness and seek answers. I opened my Bible and searched the word afraid. The first scripture I came upon was the following:
Joshua 1: 9
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The next verse:
Deuteronomy 31: 6
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
This gave me comfort and I began to calm down. These verses told me God is with me no matter the circumstances and that He will never leave me. I was to be strong and courageous. So I breathed deep and began to feel stronger but not completely over the fear. This worst was yet to come, I reasoned, it would be when I stood up in from of the church to sing.
In the Lord’s gentle way and with a smile, He gave me this verse.
Judges 6: 23
“It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.”
I laughed. Went to church and told my Sunday School class the lesson I had learned and sang with every ounce of strength needed to hold up my shaking knees.
Do I still have stage fright? Yes, but now it is a bouncing bow on the violin strings that I am learning to control. The shaky knees are still there but I quickly remember the Lord’s grace when He said to me. “It is all right…do not be afraid. You will not die” and I smile.