King Ahaz was about to be attacked by two formidable armies. Consequently, "the heart of the king and heart of the people trembled, as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind" (Is 7:2). Anticipating the death, destruction, and devastation of war, Ahaz was "shaking like a leaf."
Pope John Paul II has discerned that many of us are like King Ahaz. We are deathly afraid. We may not admit it or be fully aware of it, but fear reigns in the lives of so many. Fear paralyzes many of us and prevents us from living our vocations, evangelizing, changing our lifestyles, tithing and almsgiving, standing up for life, building Christian community, etc.
To be freed from fear, we must have faith (Is 7:9; Mk 5:36). Faith is both a gift (1 Cor 12:9) and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22).
To be freed from fear of man, we need the fear of the Lord (Sir 34:14). The fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Is 11:2ff).
To be freed from fear, we must "come to know and to believe in the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16). In this way, we displace fear (1 Jn 4:18). Love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22).
When the Spirit comes, fear goes. "You did not receive a spirit of slavery leading you back into fear, but a spirit of adoption through which we cry out, 'Abba!' (that is, 'Father'). The Spirit Himself gives witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rm 8:15-16). Come, Holy Spirit!