What are you most afraid of? Does fear rule your life or at least weaken you in some way? There are many who fear the loss of a job or a decline in health. There are also those who fear what will happen in the future as evil seems to be increasing throughout the earth. We all have a certain amount of apprehension of what the world will be like for our children and our grandchildren. Fear of the unknown or uncertain can also incapacitate many good, well-intentioned Christians, because they are afraid of what could happen if they venture out into unfamiliar territory. The Bible reminds us many times to not be afraid, or to fear not.
An angel of the Lord told Zechariah, “Do not be afraid”, when announcing the future birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:13). The Bible tells us that poor old Zechariah was “startled and gripped with fear” (Luke 1:12), which was an understandable reaction. The angel Gabriel, told a young woman by the name of Mary, “Do not be afraid…” as he told her that she would give birth to a son who would be called Jesus (Luke 1:31). An angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks at night, telling them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people” (Luke 2:8-9).
The Lord Jesus spoke to the Apostle Paul in a vision telling him, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you” (Acts 18:9-10). The writer of Hebrews encourages us to trust in God when he writes, “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6). And in John’s vision of Christ in Revelation, Christ says, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! (Revelation 1:17-18).
I constantly need to be reminded of the words of the angel of the Lord, “Fear not, do not be afraid.” If our trust and faith is firmly placed in God then we should not be fearful of anything that comes our way. When we allow fear to enter into or control our lives, we forget God’s promise that He is always with us, even as we journey through dark places and difficult times. Fear then becomes a lack of trust and faith in God. I need to be frequently reminded of the words of Jesus from John 14:27: “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.”
Prayer: God, help me to not be afraid or worried about things that are out of my control. Grant me the peace of Christ in my heart and in my life and help me to share that peace with others. Help me to be an example to others of the saving grace and abundant peace that Christ longs to offer to those who believe and call upon His holy name. Amen.