“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
I recently read an article written by an older teenager named Jacki as she cited her three biggest fears (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/my-3-biggest-fears-as-a-teenager). They were the following:
• Fear of the future;
• fear of failure;
• fear of intimacy and loneliness.
In citing her fear of the future, Jacki said: “As teenagers, we start to realize the idealistic plans we made as kids aren’t sure things. We don’t have control.” Overwhelming can be the feeling of being, “in-between.” “…in-between schools, jobs, plans, and security. Stress lingers. My future was a blank slate, everything was up in the air, and I felt swallowed by the unknown. Fear of the future pressed in.”
The next is a fear of failure. Jacki states: “Failing in school, work, relationships, driving—basically, failing at life. We’re afraid of disappointing those we love and messing up in some extravagant, irreparable way. The fear of failure is paralyzing because it inhibits us from taking risks and moving forward—which is, of course, what growing up is all about.”
The last of the three is a fear of intimacy and loneliness. Jacki says: “This is the season of my life where I’ve never been more aware of how sinful and broken and flawed I am. Yet it’s the season where I’ve never been more aware of trying to cover up my flaws. I’m afraid of people seeing the real me.”
If we were honest, we can identify with Jacki’s state of mind. You and I have encountered those fears or maybe we still do. The feeling of vulnerability is akin to the human experience.
But how we handle our fears is another matter. The Lord Jesus wants us to turn our anxious thoughts into prayers (Philippians 4:6), asking God to be mighty in our lives and slay our fears through faith.
Would you bring your fears before Him today and ask for strength to face them? Would you pray for the young people in your life that may be facing anxiety every day? Ask that God would work in their lives and draw them unto Himself. Remember that Jesus said: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)