Fear caused the disciples to huddle together in that room for protection. Indeed, they had heard the news by now—the news about the tomb being empty. Yet, the news of the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection had not transformed their spirits. The room became a prison—fear kept them inside. Fear drove them to lock themselves up to protect their lives.” Craig A. Loscalzo, Apologetic Preaching p. 45, submitted by Dr. Tom Martin, Fresh Illustrations. The scriptures say, “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” (Proverbs 29:25).

Fear and faith do not mix. When a person lives fearfully and anxiously about many things, trusting God and obeying Him becomes a major challenge. This is because obeying God most times challenges us to get out of our comfort zones; for example, Joshua, a great man of faith, struggled with fear when confronted about taking over leadership from Moses. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-10; NIV) Joshua had to be warned not to fear. The same with Peter when the Lord initially challenges Peter to follow Him; “For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:9-11; NASB) In order for Peter to fully surrender to serving the will of God this is the major issue. It is again addressed when Peter is told to step out of the boat in Matthew 14:28-36. Peter, being a fisherman and now fully exposed to the storm while standing on water, began to sink because he doubted, and Christ again addressed his fear. Fear was still an issue after Christ’s death as they huddled in a room, wondering if they would be crucified along with Christ (John 20:19-20). This was a realistic situation because Romans crucified over a hundred people in one day. Because of the circumstances, their fear became a snare, no matter how many times the Lord taught them about His crucifixion.

Fear is a natural emotion, and that is why, in scripture, we are instructed on how to combat this emotion. We are told to fear the Lord God rather than men (Deuteronomy 10:12). Fearing God increases knowledge, which leads to wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). “You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.” (Psalm 115:11; NASB) When we live in reverent fear of God, we find strength, even while we fear (Psalm 118:5-8; Prov. 3:25-26; 30:5-6).