Are you afraid? Fear not and don’t be afraid!
“But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Matthew 14:27.
Fear is common to all.
Worry or fear is common to all people living on this earth. Some people are worried or afraid about their future, their job condition, health situations, financial conditions. Certain other people are worried or afraid of their children and spouse. As people get older, they often have another worry and that is this- who is going to look after me? Will I have a peaceful and loving end on this earth? The list goes on. As you may have noted already, the worries and fears are different for different people and they are different in different stages of your life.[bctt tweet=”Are you afraid? Fear not and don’t be afraid!” username=”sam2017insights”] In the above passage given, the disciples of Christ were terrified because their boat was buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. They thought they are going to die right there in the lake. But it says Jesus went out to them even walking on the lake in the middle of the night and said to them, “Don’t be afraid, Take courage. I am here.”
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American writer who achieved posthumous fame for his influential works of fiction. He stated, “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
Karl Menninger, an American Psychiatrist, who founded the Menninger Foundation and Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas stated, “ Fears are educated into us, and can if we wish, be educated out.”
The origin and solution of fear.
Yet, the emotion or sentiment of fear or worry was not something experienced by our first parents-Adam and Eve-if we read the first two chapters of the book of Genesis in Bible, which gives us a detailed account of creation and how everything came into being. Adam and Eve enjoyed the perfect peace, protection, and provision because of their loving fellowship and friendship with God who created them from the dust of this earth. I often think what would have been their life and experience in the total absence of fear and worries than in the beginning? The Bible clearly states the ‘fear’ first came when Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandment of God. A new vocabulary of “fear” and “worry” along with several other painful vocabularies came into existence from that point onwards in human history. The fear was a new emotional experience they reported to have experienced after their first original sin. After the original sin of Adam and Eve, when God called Adam, he answered and said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” They became dead spiritually and that means they lost their intimate fellowship and friendship with God when they decided to disobey God. You see, they lost their perfect peace, protection, and provision that came from the creator God.
To a certain extent, I agree with Lovecraft’s statement, “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” The sinful propensities and fear and worries are handed down to all human beings because of the original sin of our first parents, Bible declares emphatically. I can understand the fear of the unknown gripping the hearts and minds of Adam and Eve because they lost all the peace, protection and provision when they sinned. God placed them out of the perfect environment of the garden of Eden. Genesis 3:23-24 says, “So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” They cannot go back to the perfect environment of peace, protection, and provision now. Fear of unknown.
Now as we understand the origin of fear was because of the original sin of disobedience in the garden of Eden, we can tackle the emotion of fear in a better way, but only with the help of God. Karl Menninger’s famous quotation “Fears are educated into us, and can if we wish, be educated out” cannot be agreed because it appears fear is not educated into us, all of us are born with fear in the same way we all are born with sinful propensities. A little infant can feel fear when hearing an unusual sound and a little boy doesn’t need to be taught to fear or do sin. Both sin and fear are natural to all people because sin and fear entered into this world through the choice of disobedience of Adam and Eve.
God who already knew all this in advance in His perfect omniscience, already gave us the solution to our sin problem in and through His Son’s sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins. None of us could pay for our rebelliousness and sins. But Jesus paid it all for us in His body on the cross when he became a substitute for all of us. And now those who come to Jesus Christ in faith and believe He died and rose again on their behalf, their past, present and future sins are fully and completely paid by His innocent, sinless and divine blood. Christ’s blood is applied for the payment of your sins. Bible says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified (means made right with God) through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Instead of fear, now in and through Christ Jesus a believer in Christ has peace with God because he or she has been made fully right with God. Why? Christ paid for all the sins and we can stand and enjoy the love and grace of God.
If you are a child of God who accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, God wants you to know that He loves you so much that He saved you and your future is safe, secure and guaranteed in His hand. By the way, you become a child of God by accepting Christ Jesus as your savior and Lord. Bible says, “ But as many as received Him (Christ Jesus), to them He (God) gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His (Christ Jesus’s) name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (means they are born from above into God’s household).
Fear not or don’t be afraid is the most frequently repeated commandment in the Bible.
You see it is not God’s will that His children live in fear. “Fear not” or “do not be afraid” is the most frequently repeated commandment in the Bible. Jesus Himself said many times “fear not” or “do not be afraid’.
It’s been said that there are 365 “Fear not” in the Bible — one “Fear not” for every day of the year! Lloyd Ogilvie in ‘Facing the Future without Fear’ even said there are 366 “Fear not” in the Bible, one for every day of the year, including Leap Year! God doesn’t want us to go a single day without hearing his word of comfort: “Fear not!” https://www.soulshepherding.org/2010/07/fear-not-365-days-a-year/
In fact, there are more than 365 times “fear not”, “be not afraid” or some variations of these words in the Bible. Do you know Bible addresses the topic of fear more than 500 times in King James Version? Therefore, it is true that the commandment “fear not” or a variation of this word appear definitely much more than 366 times.
Fear finds its solution in Christ.
The same way, fear, another result of the original sin, finds it’s solution in God and Savior Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus repeatedly said in his messages, “fear not” or “do not be afraid.” Fear loses its grip and strength because Jesus gave us the solution to our biggest problem – the problem of sin. Along with the given solution for our sin problem, fear loses its grip and strength on us.
Why? Because now we know God is for us because He loved us, forgave us and saved us in and through Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. And if God is for us, who or what can be against us? Nothing can stand against us to make us fear. Bible affirms this truth in Romans 8:30-32 that God predestined us, He called us, He justified us, and He even already glorified us (even though we live in this sinful world presently, in God’s sight our future glorification is a done deal) and then it says, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
The same idea is given in Ephesians 2:4-7. It says, not only God loved us with His great love and mercy, and as a result not only He saved us from our sinful condition by raising us up with Jesus Christ from our spiritually dead condition, but also listen it says “God seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. In other words, a Christ believer’s future security and safety is 100% guaranteed. God had already seated us with Him in heaven in Christ Jesus. Again, it is a done deal.
Why did God do this? It says there, God did this in order to show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. God wanted to show the incomparable riches of His grace that is expressed in His kindness in and through His son, Jesus Christ. God is going to show His wonderful grace and kindness toward us all through the eternity future. Amazing and Mind boggling is God’s love, mercy, and kindness shown by sending His son Christ to die and pay for all our sins.
I am quoting the whole passage from Ephesians here. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
So, my beloved friend, there is no reason for you to fear when roller coaster incidents happen in our life. You are safe and secure in God’s plan. In God’s sight, because you trusted in Christ as your savior, you are already seated in heaven with Him all through the coming eternity and He already glorified you. Peter says in his epistle that God in His great mercy had caused you to a new birth (birthing into God’s family) through your belief in Christ Jesus as your savior and granted you an inheritance that will never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you and God is shielding you now by His power until that day when you get you reserved inheritance in heaven. Then he writes, “In all this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” (1 Peter 1:3-6).
Again I am saying it is a done deal. Your seat and inheritance are reserved in heaven when you placed your trust and faith in the Savior, Christ Jesus. Mainly our fears are linked to our future, isn’t it? Our future safety, old age, will I get sick? what happens to my children etc. But if your future is safe and secure, then there is no need to fear about your future – No fear needed when you live here on this earth. Bible says God who gave His only son for your sake, will He not, along with him, graciously give us all things?” This question demands an answer from us. What is the answer? The answer is a definite Yes, He will!
But did even the children of God fear in the past in spite of all these truths? Abraham feared Jacob feared, David feared, Moses feared and the list goes on. Yes, sin and fear are going to be here in this world, until we are glorified with a new heavenly body, as a reminder of all our current fallen stage. This is why God and our Lord Jesus Christ commands and reminds us frequently “fear not” when you live in this world. Jesus said though you live now in this sinful world, for the time being, He commanded us to find peace in Him because He has overcome the world that is filled with sin and fear. John 16:33 reports what Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
God promised to protect and provide for His children when they live here on this earth. In fact, God provides rain, sunlight, water, air and other things for all in this world. Do you know how much more He will care you as a child of God?
An example of the children of Israel.
The Israelites were threatened with fear when they heard Pharaoh changed his mind and following them. “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.” (Exodus 14:10). The children of Israel were so terrified that they complained to their leader Moses and said “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:11-12)
Moses said to them these words, “ Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14).
I want you to see four points here.
1. Do not be afraid. What do you mean do not be afraid? They have Pharaoh in their back and the red sea full of water in the front. No way to escape and no deliverance from their fearful condition. But God said to Moses to tell the people to move on. (15c). Instead of fearing they need to move on. Fear should not stop you from going forward or moving ahead in God’s plan.
2. Stand firm in your faith and trust in God, and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. You see the LORD is the one who delivered them from the bondage of Egypt and He is the one who brought them to this point. Will he not provide and protect them? Yes, He definitely will. Stand firm in your faith and trust in God and move on as God said. This is all they need to do.
3. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.
4. How? The LORD will fight for you; you only need to be still. You see, as a child of God, because you accepted Christ as your savior and Lord, your enemy is God’s enemy. God will fight for you. Again I repeat God will fight for you. This is true all the time when it comes to the issues of His children.
This is LORD’s response to our fearful situation. Do not be afraid, Stand firm in your faith and trust in God, He will remove the obstacle you are facing today because the LORD will fight for you.
Are you in a fearful situation? Now you are afraid or worried, aren’t you? God is asking you to maintain His peace. Do you know when the enemy attacks you, the enemy attack Him? When you are in dark and terrible situations God says, I am going to be with you and I will fight for you. But meanwhile, you are going to hold your peace. God says I am going to fight for you. I will not leave you there.
Paul to young Timothy.
Apostle Paul said to young Timothy, a servant of the Lord, who was gripped by fear this verse. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” As a minister of Christ or a child of God remember God does not want us to fear. Why? God has not given us a spirit of fear, but He has given in us the Holy Spirit of power, love and of sound mind. In other words, fear is not coming out of Holy Spirit. In you seemingly fearful condition, the Holy Spirit in you gives you the power, love and sound mind.
Rejoice in the Lord and forsake fear because God is for you and no one or nothing can stand against you because of God’s presence in you. Bible urges us to be confident in the one who began a good work in us. Because He will successfully complete His good work He began in you. No need to worry. It says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6).
David’s conversation with his own soul.
When David had fear in his heart, he talked to himself and this is recorded in His Psalm. We can practice this good practice of talking to our own souls and encourage our own souls.
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)
He talked to himself in Psalm 43:5, “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?”
He said to himself in Psalm 56:3-4, “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.”
David testified in Psalm 34:4, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” God who delivered David from all his fears will do the same thing for you.
The most terrible fear is the fear of death.
Anybody who is not afraid of death?
Bible says in Hebrews 2:4-15, “Through His (Christ’s) death He (Christ) destroyed the power of the devil who has the power of death. Jesus did this to make us free from the fear of death. We no longer need to be chained to this fear.”
Bible also says, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you afraid of death? You don’t need to be afraid. Why? Jesus by his death and resurrection for our sins swallowed up death in victory. God gives you the victory over death means God will raise you up even if you die if you believed and trusted in Christ Jesus as your savior.
May I ask you this very important question. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior yet? If not, God is bidding you now to accept Christ as your savior now in a small prayer with me. God wants to forgive all your sins, remove your fears, worries and grant you eternal life in heaven with Him.
Pray like this- “God, I know you gave the solution to my sin problem. I believe your Son, Jesus Christ, died buried and risen again for my sins. I repent and confess my sins now and accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord. Please save me and grant me eternal life.” Amen.
If you prayed this prayer please visit to www.teachbible.org and go to contact/prayer tab and send me a note. Thank you for doing that.