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A phobia is defined as an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation. A phobia is a common form of anxiety disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health found that between 8.7 percent and 18.1 percent of Americans suffer from phobias, making it the most common mental illness among women in all age groups and the second most common illness among men older than 25.
Phobias can be divided into specific phobias according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). The categories are:
A- Specific phobias: Fear of particular objects or situations that results in anxiety and avoidance. This kind may lead to panic attacks and it can be subdivided into five categories: animal, natural environment, situational, blood-injection-injury, and other.
B- Agoraphobia: a generalized fear of leaving home and of possible panic attacks that might follow. This many include fear of open spaces, social embarrassment (social agoraphobia), fear of contamination (fear of germs, possibly complicated by obsessive–compulsive disorder) or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) related to a trauma that took place outdoors.
C- Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is when the situation is feared out of a worrying about others judging them. Performance only is a subtype of social anxiety disorder.
There are different methods used to treat phobias. These include systematic desensitization, progressive relaxation, virtual reality, modeling and in some cases medication. Spiritual counseling has proven to be a successful method in healing phobias.
God Gives Man Victory Over Fear
Christ feels man’s fears. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He had experienced the full weight of every conceivable temptation that the “prince of this world” (John 12:31) could put upon Him, including fear. Yet, He didn’t sin even by a thought (John 14:30). Therefore, He is fully sympathetic to our fears, and phobias.
Christ doesn’t only feel our fears, He also heals man from them. Because of His victory over all fears, we too may triumph over it (Romans 8:1–4). In Him, we can be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37), for God “giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57), over both sin and its wages, death (Galatians 2:20).
The Lord promised to dispel our fears and phobias and give us deliverance, “say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you’ (Isaiah 35:4). Therefore, we should take courage and hope (Isaiah 25:9; John 14:1–3; Titus 2:13).
Instead of fear, the Lord promised, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). And He added, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
And because of God’s deliverances, David proclaimed, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). The believer needs nothing more than the consciousness of God’s presence.
Bible Verses That Help Dispel Fear
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
“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?” (Psalm 27:1).
“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished” (1 Chronicles 28:20).
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4).
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
In His service,