We are living in what I’m sure we would all consider very uncertain times. When you turn on the television or radio, scroll through social media, or just talk to anyone in general right now, you will hear the same thing. We are all talking about it and some of us are afraid. We are afraid that we will get the virus, afraid that we won’t be able to go back to our jobs, afraid that our country may never recover from this pandemic. I’m sure if I asked 100 people what they were afraid of, I would get many more to add to this list. The phrase "Fear Not," is a command that is repeated more than any other in the Bible. In fact, it is repeated 365 times. This means that for each day of the year, God’s word has provided us a command not to fear.
While I believe in the Word of God more than anything else in the world, I have to be honest and tell you that I become fearful of quite a few things and quite often, actually. Now I know that in some people’s eyes that may make me look weak or like I don’t know how to let God handle my situation or fears. But I’m human and so are you. We all become fearful at times. Last time I checked, the people in my circle weren’t wearing any capes or swooping in with initials plastered across their chests to save the day. We aren’t superheroes, we're humans. We have real emotions, real hurts, real disappointments and real fear.
So, why do we feel shame if we are fearful. Why do we hold back from letting others see our fears? Maybe if you have read God’s Word you’ve read the 365 verses that command us not to fear. Maybe you’ve heard a message about how we aren’t supposed to fear and are supposed to let God handle everything, but yet you walked away still feeling afraid. Can I tell you that you aren’t a bad Christian or a bad person because you have fear? Fear is a natural, wait for it, God-given emotion. Yes, God put the emotion of fear in us so it is perfectly natural for us to have fear. Imagine a world where there was no fear. I have an almost 13 year old that doesn’t have very many and let me tell you, that alone makes me fearful. If we didn’t fear, we would touch the hot stove or never look to see if someone is coming before we make a turn. You get the picture. Fear is natural and we should never feel guilty for having it.
So, if fear is a God-given emotion, then why does the Bible tell us not to fear. I’ll pose a question. Have you ever read the warning labels on the products you have in your home. Do you know that your hair dryer has a warning not to use the product when you are sleeping? If you own a chainsaw, it probably warns you to not hold the wrong end of the chainsaw while operating. If you purchase a Superman costume, the product will warn you that the suit will not allow you to fly or have super powers. McDonald’s coffee warns you on the cup that the contents are hot. Really? I would have never guessed. There are a ton more of these but I will stop there. The reason these what seem to be ridiculous warnings are there, is because someone has tried it. You can bet the farm that there has been an incident in each one of these situations that has caused a company to add these cautions to their products.So, that is why I believe that The Word of God tells us to, “Fear not.” It’s a warning label. God knows that our natural and first response to a lot of uncertain situations is fear. The fact that we have fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem begins when we stay there. When we live in fear or let it control our every move or breath, then we are being controlled by what we fear and not by God.
Everytime we are told not to fear, the Word of God answers it with why we shouldn’t stay afraid. Much like when our children are afraid in the middle of the night or when they are jumping into the deep end and we tell them that they don’t need to be scared because now we are here with them. It’s because we are more wise and more mature. We know that we won’t let anything harm them and that we will protect them at any cost. God always provides an answer as to why we don’t have to be afraid. An Example is found in my favorite scripture. Isaiah 41:10, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you.I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” He reminds us that He is with us even though we are afraid, He is here and will strengthen and help us. He reminds us that He is victorious so we don’t have to be afraid of the battle, because He has already won. He is more wise and more mature and He knows and sees the things that we do not.
If you have felt fear in the last fews weeks or days, please know that it is okay. Fear is natural and we all feel it. But please look to His Word when you feel the fear creeping into your mind or your heart. Go to the scripture and let Him remind you that you don’t have to fear but He will always provide for, protect, comfort and go before you to make a way. Don’t let your fear control you during this time while the world seems so uncertain. Know that we are all afraid (if we’re being honest) but we can’t let it control us. We have to look to the hills where our help comes from and let him be God. Let the “Fear Not” become your warning label and not a tool to bring guilt into your life. Feel the natural emotion of fear and then place it into His hands because He is much wiser and stronger than we are.