Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. — Luke 12:32 NKJV
Fear feels dreadful. It sucks the life out of the soul, curls us into an embryonic state, and drains us dry of contentment. When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god. When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life. Can the safety lover do anything great? Can the risk-averse accomplish noble deeds? For God? For others? No. The fear-filled cannot love deeply. Love is risky. They cannot give to the poor. Benevolence has no guarantee of return. The fear-filled cannot dream wildly. What if their dreams sputter and fall from the sky? The worship of safety emasculates greatness. No wonder Jesus wages such a war against fear.
His most common command emerges from the “fear not” genre. The gospels list some 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, twenty- one urge us to “not be afraid” or “not fear” or “have courage” or “take heart” or “be of good cheer.” The second most common command, to love God and neighbor, appears on only eight occasions. If quantity is any indicator, Jesus takes our fears seriously. The one statement he made more than any other was this: don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid. So easy to say; so not easy to do.
But our Lord never gives us a directive without the tools to carry it out. And He equips us with His presence and His strength, covering us with His protection. When fear comes tapping on the door of your heart, remember this:
My Scripture of Hope
The Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. — Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV
God’s Promise to Me
Jesus takes my fears seriously. His love and protection cover every detail of my life. I can trust Him to watch over me.
No Spirit of Fear
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. — 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did those things.
To be clear, fear serves a healthy function. It is the canary in the coal mine, warning of potential danger. Fear is the appropriate reaction to a burning building or growling dog. Fear itself is not a sin. But it can lead to sin.
If we medicate fear with angry outbursts, drinking binges, sullen withdrawals, self-starvation, or viselike control, we exclude God from the solution and exacerbate the problem. We subject ourselves to a position of fear, allowing anxiety to dominate and define our lives. Joy-sapping worries. Day-numbing dread. Repeated bouts of insecurity that petrify and paralyze us.
- Hysteria is not from God.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear. — 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV, emphasis mine
Fear may fill our world, but it doesn’t have to fill our hearts. It will always knock on the door. Just don’t invite it in for dinner, and for heaven’s sake, don’t offer it a bed for the night.
We certainly don’t mean to, but it happens. We open the door, just a crack, and anxiety creeps in. He’s not a considerate guest. He doesn’t care that his companionship stinks. He invites his freeloading pals — worry and fear — over to crash on the couch. When you need help kicking this crew to the curb, remember this:
My Scripture of Hope
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. — 2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT
God’s Promise to Me
God’s Spirit within me is greater than any anxiety, any worry, any fear. I can turn to Him, and He will strengthen me. He will show me what is real and what is true.
Excerpted with permission from Calm Moments for Anxious Days by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.
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Fear is serious business. God takes it seriously and so should we. God tells us again and again in His Word not to be afraid and yet we still let fear in the door! Today, let’s kick him out and remember that God is in control and He loves us! ~ Devotionals Daily