Examining Bible Characters Who Struggled With Fear
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Examining Bible Characters Who Struggled With Fear


It’s easy to look at Bible stories and see only perfect people who never struggled with fear. But if we look closer, we see that even some of the most famous Bible characters had moments where they were afraid.

This article will look closely at three Bible characters who struggled with fear: Moses, Gideon, and David. We’ll see what their fears were and how they dealt with them. As we examine their stories, we’ll learn valuable lessons about overcoming our fears.

Bible Characters Who Struggled With Fear

David’s Fear of Saul

King Saul was a powerful man, and David was just a shepherd. So when Saul began to pursue David, David was filled with fear. He knew that Saul could kill him if he caught him.

You can see David’s fear in his words: “Even the shadows of your servant cause me terror. How much more then will the shadows of a great king like Saul!” (1 Samuel 20:30). David was so afraid that he couldn’t even sleep at night. He felt like he was constantly running and hiding.

But even amid his fear, David had faith. He knew that God was with him and that God would protect him. And eventually, David was able to overcome his fear and defeat Saul.

Moses’ Fear of Pharaoh

You were probably taught that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but you might not know that Moses was very afraid of Pharaoh.

Moses knew that if he confronted Pharaoh, Pharaoh would probably kill him. But Moses also knew that if he didn’t confront Pharaoh, the Israelites would be stuck in slavery forever.

So Moses had to face his fear and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He was rewarded with the gift of prophecy, and he also got to see the Israelites reach the Promised Land.

Elijah’s Fear After His First Victory

You approach Elijah, seeking his counsel. He has just returned from a great victory, but you can see the fear in his eyes. “What is it?” you ask him.

“I am afraid,” he says. “I am afraid that I have done all this for nothing.”

It is natural to feel fear after a victory. Elijah has just faced the prophets of Baal and won—but now he wonders if it was all for nothing. He is afraid that his victory was a fluke and that he will never be able to replicate it.

This is a fear that we all know well. We can all remember times when we have succeeded against all odds, only to be terrified that we will never be able to do it again. It is a fear that can keep us from trying new things and from taking risks. But we must learn to overcome it to live our lives to the fullest.

Gideon’s Fear of His Enemies

When you read the story of Gideon in the Bible, it’s clear that he had a great deal of fear about his enemies. Gideon was understandably fearful when God commanded him to take his family and attack the Midianites. He asked God for several signs to confirm that He was telling him to do this audacious mission.

Gideon’s fears were further heightened once he arrived at the battlefield and saw that his army was outnumbered. In Judges 7:15, we see him plead with God to help him because he felt so helpless against the enemy forces.

God did not rebuke Gideon for being afraid but instead gives Gideon a plan to defeat the Midianites in Judges 7:16-18. This teaches us an important lesson about fear—God understands our fears and will never leave or forsake us when we are scared or overwhelmed. We can turn to Him for courage and strength in times of fear and uncertainty.

Jesus’ Fear in the Garden of Gethsemane

When we think of Jesus, we tend to think of Him as fearless and strong. But in the Garden of Gethsemane, we find Jesus battling with fear. He says to his disciples in Luke 22:44, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He expresses his anguish in Mark 14:33-34, saying, “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.’”

These verses show us that Jesus was profoundly struggling with fear at this moment. He showed us that it’s okay to come before God in fear. When fear overwhelms us, and we don’t know what else to do, sometimes all we can do is take it before God and express our fears to Him. We can be thankful that Jesus gave us an example of how this looks.

How to Overcome the Fears in Our Lives

It’s easy to get caught up in our struggles and completely forget that other people have felt this way. But by examining the stories of biblical characters who also experienced fear, we can draw strength from their experiences and gain insights into overcoming the fears in our lives.

One great example is King David. He experienced fear when facing Goliath, yet he still overcame his fear and did what was right despite his doubts. His story teaches us that we can conquer our fears and that no obstacle is too significant for God.

We also learn a lot from the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Though he feared the consequences, Daniel stood firm in his faith and refused to compromise his beliefs. His courage and conviction demonstrate that we can stand strong despite our fears. And with God’s help, we can face any challenge courageously.


Bible Characters Who Struggled With Fear

So, what can we learn about fear from these Bible characters? First, that fear is natural and normal. Second, that fear can keep us from doing what God wants us to do. Third, we can trust God to help us overcome our fears. Fourth, we can find courage in God’s Word. Finally, we can pray for other people who struggle with fear.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.