Is fear a good thing or a bad thing? I'd say it's both. Dictionary.com defines fear as: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined. In my opinion, there are two types of fear: one that protects and one that steals.
1. Protective Instincts
The first kind of fear I want to discuss is the type that protects us from real danger. For example, imagine you were walking through the forest at night and you heard a large animal growling up ahead. Your body (and hopefully your mind) would begin to react in a way that would protect you from possible danger. That type of fear is good because it keeps you safe.
2. It's All In Your Head
The second type of fear is different. It's the type that steals your peace. It's not a natural fear. Unlike the animal in the forest, this "danger" grows unchecked in your mind. We begin to see "monsters" and danger everywhere we look. It may start with a simple comment like, "The company is experiencing slower sales than normal. There may have to be some cutbacks." In your mind it transforms into, "You're the last one hired, you'll be the first let go. How will I pay my mortgage? There's no way I'll be able to send my kids to college if I can't find a job!..." You feed that fear, and it grows out of control.
Here's what you need to do. The Bible tells us "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) Living in fear is not what God intends for us. So, how do we stop?
The Apostle Paul wrote, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) When those thoughts come, we grab them, examine them, and see if they align with God's word. If they don't, we discard them. Don't think on them any more.
Believe what God says about you! "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)