Many people experience times of being scared. They fear threats, tragedies, and other frightening events that could impact their lives, health, income, relationships, and more. For some people, fear has a real-life source. For others, being scared is the result of what could happen in life, and just the possibility of it paralyzes them with fear.
God is near when his sons and daughters are scared. God’s presence isn’t based on whether or not a frightened person tangibly feels his presence, but on their faith that what the Bible teaches about his nearness during fearful times is true. Yet, there are ways to experience a greater sense of his presence.
What does God think about my fear? Is feeling scared sinful? What should I do when I’m feeling scared? What are some powerful Bible verses about God’s nearness? What does the Bible say about fear? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Also see Is Fear A Sin? to learn more.
Feeling Scared? Scripture and the Holy Spirit Can Help
Christian counselor and author Edward Welch writes, “Fears are loud and demanding. Even when you know they are irrational, they can still control you. It is hard to argue with feelings that are so intense, and easy to be loyal to our inaccurate interpretations.” 
What does God think about my fear? Feeling scared is a reality that many people experience, but one in which God wants to intervene, change, and redeem for his purposes. The only fear that is righteous is the fear of the Lord, which the Bible says is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7). Yet, this isn’t a fear comprised of feeling scared or frightened, but of reverential awe of God’s holiness and power.
Is feeling scared sinful? It can be. A child who fears the dark, for example, shouldn’t be disciplined for having unjustified fears but comforted. For another example, consider an adult who has experienced real-life trauma. That person should also be ministered to, yet reminded of God’s sovereignty, goodness, and love.
Fears, especially of hypothetical possibilities, can be sinful. Fears concerning the loss of material possessions and wealth suggest a worldly mentality that values this life more than the next. For another example, consider that fears over aging and losing one’s youthful looks may suggest an unholy perspective on external appearances. Fear can be self-centered, self-serving, and self-glorifying, in which case they are sinful.
What should I do when I’m feeling scared? James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” A person can draw near to God by reading the Bible, which the Holy Spirit inspired. They can pray, which the Holy Spirit hears and intercedes on behalf of (Rom. 8:26). They can also call a Christian friend, who the Holy Spirit can speak through.
- Read the Bible: The Bible is God’s Word and is the primary way that people today hear from him. The Holy Spirit inspired every word of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17), which means when people read the Old and New Testaments they are reading the very words of God. Scripture teaches people about God’s love and the hope they can have through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Romans 6:23).
- Pray to God: Christ gave people access to Father, which means that in prayer people have a direct line to their Creator who cares for them beyond what they can possibly imagine. God’s love for people is so great, that he invites anxious people to cast their cares upon him (1 Pet. 5:7). Prayer calms the soul, still the heart, and reconnects a lost person to God.
- Talk to a Christian friend: A mature brother or sister in Christ can address a person’s fear with objectivity, compassion, and Godly counsel. Fear has a way of exaggerating outcomes and possibilities, yet the words of a loving friend (or minsiter or counselor) can help stabilize chaotic emotions as they Holy Spirit speaks through them.
Drawing near to God and the great love he has for people drives out fear and restores hope, joy, and peace. 1 John 4:18 reads, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (ESV)
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” – Corrie Ten Boom
Also see How Does God Speak To Us? to learn more.
Bible verses about God being near
- Psalm 145:18, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
- James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
- Psalm 139:7-10, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
- Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near“
- Philippians 4:5-7, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“Sometimes the clearest evidence that God has not deserted you is not that you are successfully past your trial but that you are still on your feet in the middle of it.” – Pastor Dale Ralph Davis
Also see Can God Hear Your Thoughts? to learn more.
Bible verses about not be afraid
- Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
- Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
- Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
- 1 John 4:8, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
- Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
“The worst evils of life are those which do not exist except in our imagination. If we had no troubles but real troubles, we should not have a tenth part of our present sorrows. We feel a thousand deaths in fearing one, but the (the Christian) cured of the disease of fearing.” – English preacher C.H. Spurgeon
Also see How To Surrender To God to learn more.
 Depression: A Stubborn Darkness, Punch Press, 2004, p. 38.
The Bible teaches that God is omnipotent and that no other being, whether a human or even Satan himself, can match or surpass his strength. Yet God doesn't always demonstrate his power and the Bible...
Long before people in the twenty-first century asked questions about God and suffering, faithful men and women in the Bible had been wrestling with them. For example, David wrote, "My soul is in deep...