Fear and Stagnating in Life
If you had to put a number on how you're doing, 0 to 10, with 10 being incredible, what would you put? If you were at a family member's wedding what would you put? What about a funeral?
A family member's wedding should be a happy time (8 to 10). A funeral should be a sad time (0 to 2). If you have experienced something difficult like losing a job, or never getting what you really want, then you might stay in the 3 to 6 range, where things are always ok (Even if things are finally going great). Your experiences don't necessarily dictate your responses though.
When you protect or armor yourself with fear, you tend to not enjoy things that should be enjoyable and you tend to not experience sadness when you should be sad. You may experience these things if you have gone through trauma as well.
God's Design for Sadness and Rejoicing
God intends for us to weep during loss and rejoice over a happy circumstance (Romans 12:15, John 11:32-37). Fear detaches from reality; if things are going great in your life then you still feel like a 6; Fear says, "Do not be happy,"; or, "It could be worse," when things are difficult. Both of these statements are self-protective. Fear keeps you in the 3 to 6 range; Put it all together and you get, "It's better to be fearful (or protect myself) than to be happy (or sad)." This is protecting yourself with fear. God has not designed you to be fearful of your circumstances but he does intend for you to rejoice and to weep.
"Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?"
"To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."