We go from being scared of the dark, to terrified of not fitting in, to paranoid of the future as we progress through life’s stages. Fear is an ever-present nemesis.
I remember being frightened by a Junior Asparagus toy I had that glowed and sang about not being afraid. How ironic!
God knows we are faint-hearted folk. He takes note of our trembling hands and quaking knees, reaffirming His steadiness.
The Bible is packed with promises of God’s sufficiency in our deficiency. I’ve heard there are three hundred sixty-five messages addressing fearfulness in the Bible … One for every day of the year, although I’ve never counted to be sure.
Jesus kept the momentum going during His earthly ministry. “Take heart,” He would say, “Do not be afraid.”
When four men lowered their paralytic friend through a roof to present him to Jesus, He received their faith and honored their humility. “Take heart” (Matthew 9:2).
When a suffering woman was exhausted of funds and tired of bleeding after twelve years, she stretched out her hand to be changed by Jesus’ power and compassion. “Take heart” (Matthew 9:22).
When wind howled against the disciples’ boat and they thought the approaching Jesus was a ghost, His voice pierced through (Matthew 14:26-27). “Take heart” (Mark 6:50).
When the twelve fretted over the future and misunderstood Jesus’ teaching, He directed and eased them. “Take heart” (John 16:33).
His calm, persistent reminders echo God’s age-old promises.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
“Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.”
– Haggai 2:4-5
“And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”
– Zechariah 8:13
God’s Provision: In times of battle, hardship, disaster, sinfulness, and uncertainty, to name only a few, God inserted His goodness into our distress. His perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
– Psalm 46:1-3
Word of the Week: Healed. Because of this, we can be restored—in strength, spirit, and faith. Hebrews 12:12-13 calls us to! “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”