Faith Struggles

Getting Down to the Root of Fear

Guest Post by: Kayla Heidinger
Darkness engulfed me as I laid in bed, my thoughts twisting and turning in my mind.

There simply had to be a way out. There had to be a way to break the bondage fear so often held me in. Alone in the darkness, I threw question after question at God. I wanted only one thing: freedom from fear.

Fear—we all struggle with it. Stage fright, death, loneliness, public speaking, the dark, flying, driving, heights, social phobias, failure, cancer, change—the list could go on.

We live in a society controlled by fear.

Nobody enjoys being afraid, yet the terror doesn’t go away. It still takes people captive, binding them in chains few know how to break. In our search for answers, we tackle what we assume is the problem—fear itself.

And for most of us, no matter how much we fight it, when placed in a frightening situation, we’re still anything but fearless; anything but at peace.

What is the issue? Where does the problem lie?  

In Matthew 16:21-23, we follow a conversation that Peter is having with Jesus. It’s nearing the time of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion, and Jesus is telling His disciples what the near future is looking like for Him.

“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Here, Jesus utters one of the sternest rebukes He’s ever uttered. At first, it may seem like Jesus is being rude and unnecessarily harsh. After all, Peter is simply trying to shield Jesus from the upcoming horror of His death.

One of my favorite authors explains this short conversation, bringing out the deeper meaning behind Jesus’ words.

“Satan was trying to discourage Jesus, and turn Him from His mission; and Peter, in his blind love, was giving voice to the temptation. He (Satan) was seeking to fix Peter’s gaze upon the earthly glory, that he might not behold the cross to which Jesus desired to turn his eyes.

And through Peter, Satan was again pressing the temptation upon Jesus. But the Savior heeded it not; His thought was for His disciple. Satan had interposed between Peter and his Master, that the heart of the disciple might not be touched at the vision of Christ’s humiliation for him.

The words of Christ were spoken, not to Peter, but to the one who was trying to separate him from his Redeemer. “Get thee behind Me, Satan.” No longer interpose between Me and My erring servant. Let Me come face to face with Peter, that I may reveal to him the mystery of My love. (Desire of Ages, pp. 415, 416)

Jesus knew that Peter’s impulsive words were not merely out of love. He knew that Satan was the author of this thought, and He went straight to the root of it, rebuking Satan, the real issue.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) 

Simply put, fear is not from God. The problem of fear lies deeper than fear itself. Your real enemy is not so much the fear. Your enemy, the prince of lies, is Satan.

Just as Satan tried to tempt Jesus, through Peter, Satan tries to separate us from God through fear. We need to recognize who our real enemy is, and then by letting God lead, we can shatter those chains of fear.

Challenge: What is one thing that you are worrying about? Today, you can choose to let go of that fear. God is stronger than anything Satan can throw at you. All you have to do is let Him lead.


Kayla Heidinger lives on 20 acres out in Oregon with her family. She’s a 16 year old Christian girl who loves music, photography, laughing, nature, and deep conversations. Her goal is to be a blessing and share God’s love with others. 

Hey Girls! It’s such a blessing that we can encourage you in your walk with Christ, however, we are not licensed counselors and cannot offer professional advice. If you are seeking help and counsel, we strongly encourage you to talk to a trusted adult such as your parents, a godly woman, or a pastor. They can better guide you, as they are able to know the details of your situation.