Do not be Afraid

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Luke 2:10 NIV

“Fear not,” or “Do not be afraid” is written in the Bible 365 times. 

Frankly, though there are some days that I’m scared. I fear failure, criticism, and car wrecks. I’m scared of snakes, sharks, and the sea. Just to name a few.

Before 8 a.m. this morning, I was feeling “overwhelmed,” which is a fancy word for “fear.”

Saying I’m “overwhelmed” makes me sound busy and sophisticated when what I really want to do is crawl under the covers and hide.

Instead, I sat down in prayer to see why? (After all, there were no snakes or sharks to escape). But what I did find was a pile of sneaky lies slithering around in the shadows of my thoughts. Hissing and making me feel small, helpless, and alone.

I wrote them down. They probably aren’t that much different than your lies- the good ol’ standbys. “Your work isn’t good enough. He/she is smarter, better, more productive (fill in the blank) than you. You’re stupid. Etc.”

I know they aren’t true, but still, they spew. And fill me up with poison sometimes. Then suddenly, I am very afraid.

So this morning, I prayed.

“Jesus, I’m afraid. Apparently, there is a “fear not” for each day of the year, but I need one for each minute, please. And since I’m a big scaredy-cat, could you please teach me about fear so I don’t feel so dumpy?”

This is what I heard,

Fear is a cause to pause. An invitation to stop and seek My way forward.

I thought about the circumstances in scripture when The Lord says, “fear not.” These are pivotal times when His people have paused to ask for direction and courage. They are taking big risks; facing their giants; going into battle; saying unpopular things; traveling into unchartered territory; being persecuted for their faith.

Their fear makes them stop and ask, “Lord, before we press on, is this really from You?” And The Lord says to them 365 times, “Yes. It’s me.”  Or more precisely, “Don’t be afraid, I’m with you.”

I suddenly realized the incredible value of fear.

It is not something to be ashamed of, ignored, or condemned. Rather it’s a healthy emotion created by God. When we are scared, we slow down, become cautious, pay attention.

It’s the perfect time to pray. “Lord, is this thought true? Is it loving; is it You? Is it helping me or hurting me? Is it saving my skin or stopping me from stepping through my very best life? Is this You or is this the enemy?”

Satan depends on our fear.  That is precisely what he wants, for us to live in fear.  

That’s exactly why we need to seek God vigilantly in our fear to learn where it’s coming from.

But what does life look like with no fear at all?

To fear nothing? No cause for a pause to consider what God might be showing us? To never humble our hearts? To never ask God what’s going on and where He wants us to go?

It looks like total self-indulgence.

It’s a good thing you and I don’t have to worry about that, right? Because we’re scared sometimes. And that’s a good thing- a cause for a pause.

Prayer

Lord God, this might be a little bit of an awkward prayer but we know that you will understand it.  We want to thank you for giving us fear.  I know it sounds weird, but thank you for giving us a reason to pause and make sure that it’s really you who is causing it.  Lord, we pray that if it’s not you then help us to take control over that fear.  We pray that you humble our hearts and that we seek your will in everything that we do.  God thank you for everything that you have ever done for us and all that you will ever do for us.  Here’s to being afraid sometimes.  And may you use it to make us awesome!

Amen

Will you pray with us?

Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation

All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel

For all military personal serving our country and their families

Those in Leadership positions throughout the world