Fear Not

The Bible contains the phrase “Fear not,” “Be not afraid,” or a very similar phrase nearly 400 times. Clearly, we are a fearful lot. Why are we so afraid and why is God so persistent in calming our fears? Let’s look at a few ways we need to react the next time we’re afraid. 


Often the phrase indicates God is trying to tell us something. Something important. Think of the first phrase out the mouth of nearly every angel in Scripture. “Fear not.” Why? Because we can’t hear God when we’re afraid. The next time you’re afraid, think to yourself, “What is God trying to tell me?” Then listen. 


Next, step up your faith-walk. Let go of the fear and depend on Jesus. The disciples once found themselves in the middle of a violent storm while Jesus slept in the boat next to them. We read the story in Mark 4: 


38Jesus was inside the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The followers went and woke him. They said, “Teacher, don’t you care about us? We are going to drown!” 39Jesus stood up and gave a command to the wind and the water. He said, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and the lake became calm. 40He said to his followers, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (NIV) 


Let’s parse this just a bit. First, I give the disciples a lot of credit for turning to the only person who could make things safe—Jesus. Jesus didn’t complain to the followers for disturbing Him, but he made pretty short work of what clearly appeared to be a life or death situation. “Quiet! Be still!” and it was all over. Jesus can certainly make short work of our seemingly hopeless situations, too. But when the crisis was over, He dove to the heart of the matter (Hal’s paraphrase): “After all this time with me, you are still afraid? Where is your faith in Me?” 


When we are afraid, we need to put our full faith in God first, then turn the situation over to Him. 


Where do we find the strength to show our fear the door? There is only one answer to that. To the Holy Spirit. See 2nd Timothy 1:7 


For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (ESV) 


God’s Spirit (in us) is not timid. He is not fearful. He is all powerful. He wants us to turn over our spirit (little “s”) of fear to Him and He will replace it with a Spirit of Power. I was once told that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to take action and do what needs to be done after pushing fear aside. That’s very much the same thing, except that thankfully, the courage and the power aren’t of our own invention. They are gifts from God, when we simply push our fear off onto the Holy Spirit’s big shoulders and leave it there. 


So, in summary, when you find yourself afraid, listen, have faith in Jesus, and push the fear off to the Spirit in exchange for His mighty Power. 


In Him,