“Do not be afraid.” Those few words are one of, if not the most common phrases in the Bible. They are all over the place in Isaiah. They were spoken by God and His angels to some of the bravest people that the world will ever know. They were what the Angel Gabriel said to John the Baptist’s father. The same angel said them to Mary when he asked her to be the mother of Jesus. Her son spoke those words to Peter whom he entrusted with spreading the word of His kingdom. Moses was told to fear not. Abraham also received the same message.
Fear is undoubtedly one of the strongest emotions we humans feel. God knows this about us. As much as we try to pretend that fear is for children or sissies or losers, we all experience it at some level. What we really fear is that we can’t do ________ (something.) We can’t measure up or we can’t accomplish some goal or we won’t be successful at what’s important to us. Fill in the blank with whatever you fear.
Whatever you came up with, I’m willing to bet that it was – I fear not being able to do (whatever it is you fear) by myself. God maybe could have made it more clear to those of us denser individuals if he had said that we should fear trying to go it alone. When He said, “Do not be afraid,” it was almost always followed by, “for I am with you.” That’s where our focus needs to be, not on the fear, not on the illusion of self-reliance, not on the myth of the lone warrior fighting the battles for the weak of this world.
Don’t be afraid, but not because there’s nothing to fear, but because you don’t have to face your fears alone.
“You are my servant, I have chosen you, I have not rejected you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength, truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10.
That’s why we don’t need to fear. We need to surrender that emotion and replace it with trust in Him. And we need to do it over and over and over, every single day of the year. It’s not a coincidence that it’s mentioned exactly 365 times in the Bible.