It’s what angels say whenever they show up because they put off a very bright white light that would be quite alarming to any mortal. It’s also what Jesus said when He surprised His disciples with an unexpected show of His miraculous power, such as when He appeared to them in the middle of the night walking on the water, or when He showed up in their midst after His resurrection in the upper room with the doors locked. Don’t be afraid; it’s me.
There is so much to cause us fear today. So much we don’t understand. So much truth and untruth to sort through that you become afraid simply because you can’t sort it out. You don’t know who to believe. And almost everyone, including many Christian leaders, is using fear to incite and motivate people to certain ends. It’s very effective.
But one thing is certain. If anyone is utilizing fear like this in a Christian context, it is not of God, because when Jesus shows up, He always says, “Fear not.” Jesus banishes all fear. “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba! Father” (Romans 8:15)! Sons and daughters, crying out the equivalent of “Daddy!” with arms open wide. No fear there — total trust. This is what we need right now.
Believe me, it’s so tempting to keep checking the news — feeling the fear quotient rise. Don’t give in to the fear.
Trust God. Don’t be afraid. Let all else go.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Our attitude should be sober while being optimistic..
Our God is doing what He always does, He warns us, remember Hezekiah from Isaiah 38:
1 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.” 2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3saying, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion; I have done what is good in Your sight.”
God is good and He warns us of danger in order to help us..
He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.
May His Grace be with you as you make your requests by prayer and supplication before the Lord 🙏
“What have I to dread? What have I to fear? Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”
Those words always comfort me. Here’s Marj. Enjoy.
Amen – great song!
I’m not 100% certain that Jesus didn’t intentionally utilize a form of fear in certain situations. I’m not speaking of the fear that tries to scare people into a blind frenzy or incites a populace into mass-hysteria; and certainly not the kind of fear insidiously planted into our vulnerable psyches for the purpose of sowing doubt, distrust, divisiveness, and disconnectedness.
But the fear Jesus utilized – at least in my reasoning – was through the eye-opening “woes” he spoke of to the scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, and others among us who rely on sources other than Him for our spiritual truths, answers, comfort, peace, and direction.
The kind of open-your-ears-to-the-truth fear that prompts introspection, repentance, redirection, and committed dedication to all He lived, loved, and died for.
A no-nonsense fear that pointedly, yet lovingly, warns us to examine our ways and to not be caught off-guard in the unruly and tumultuous days to come.
A good healthy kind of fear that enables us to more clearly understand Him as the Way, the Truth, the Life, and that reinforces our deep-rooted belief that He is I AM and there is no other beside Him.
Sure, we can correctly translate King James’ “fear” into “revere’, “honor”, and/or “respect”, but I feel there is legitimacy to the “be afraid” fear that Jesus uses to get our minds to thinking and our hearts to beating (not pounding) in reasonable rhythm with His.
No, we need not be afraid of whatever terrors or torments man may try to spook us with these days as long as we’re in sync with God and secure in the knowledge that He does, indeed, have the whole world, this whole universe – including little ol’ you and me – in His hands!
But there is fear that Jesus instructs us not to be afraid of but to take seriously.
Shalom and Happy MLK Day everyone!
Do something nice for someone – or several someones – this long weekend… 🙂
Thanks for adding this perspective. A healthy, no-nonsense fear that redirects us toward Jesus and away from worldly, false prophets makes sense as we walk forward in these days.
Good Catch and it made me this of a great book I’ve been reading daily: “What to say when you talk to yourself: 365 days of positive self talk” By a great Christian author Shad Helmsatetter, Ph.D – A great I HIGHLY recommend it! Great few sentences to read before or after the Catch…
When I was a classroom teacher I used fear. The first day of the new school year, I would lay down the rules using a very stern voice. Within the first few weeks there was usually someone who wanted to see if I would exercise the discipline if the rules were broken. (The rules were fair and so were the consequences.) Once it was determined that the rules were not to be broken the love relationship would start. The kids always said everything is great if you obey the rules.
A fear that keeps me in line with obeying God, I find a healthy fear to have. In a way one can say he is so good to me so I am afraid to hurt Him. It is not good to hurt the one you love.