Do Not Fear
Easier said than done, right? If you have never been fear stricken with a perilous drive through a blizzard or holding a sick child with a fever of 104 or coming to the end of a bad week at work convinced that it will surely end with your firing, then you have not stepped foot in the world.
If you have never been afraid, terrified and red-face flushed with flop sweat because your mind has created a horrible, painful and untimely demise for you. Then you are a liar.
For those brave souls who attempt to climb Mt. Everest, they follow a well established route which has a safety line for most of the ascent. The climbers clip in and follow that line in order to keep clear of dangerous ravines and precipices. Without being connected to this line they can soon find themselves alone on a snow covered abyss. And the fear most certainly would set in.
Our human minds quickly and efficiently calculate all of the potential outcomes for every tense and treacherous situation and quickly arrive at the worst-case scenario. “That’s it, I’m doomed, it’s all over! I’m broke, everybody hates me! I’ll probably be dead soon”–yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. We’ve all done it. But we don’t have to. There is a safety line, a fail-safe connection if we can stay connected- -Jesus.
When Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem, there was an immediate pronouncement, a declaration and a promise made to all of us who believe. It was an angel, an Angel of the Lord proclaiming to the lowly shepherds. Things were about to change.
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11
From that first day of Jesus’ birth, through the Old Testament, New Testament and continuing today and beyond, the promises of God were announced, proclaimed and delivered. The book of Isaiah is full of powerful safety lines of, “Do Not Fear.” Eight different times the author accounts the promises of God. My favorite is this passage:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
When I’m in one of those battles of runaway mind scenarios, creating a vicious downward cycle of worst-cases, that verse snaps me out of it and locks me back into the lifeline of hope and promise.
Do Not Fear
I Am With You
I Am Your God
I Will Strengthen You
I Will Help You
I Will Uphold You
Done. I’m Good! Back on solid footing, clipped in to God’s safety line.
Let’s call it what it is. Fear is lack of faith. An absence of belief that God will come through for us. So we let go and attempt to create our own route up our mountains. Fear consumes, but Jesus revives and replenishes. And we need to grasp firmly a hold of that promise.
Fear can be that fence that you are told not to cross. It’s there for a reason, it’s a barrier, a boundary. Separation between protection and the unknown. Which can be good, right? Nothing wrong with a little healthy fear to keep you on your toes. But when it consumes and sucks all of the life and oxygen out of it you, then it turns to evil really quick.
The answer to that careful balance is love. God’s love for us can be found in every situation. Good times, bad times, dark times and light-filled days of joy and peace. A safety harness that’s always there. All we need to do is clip in and buckle in place.
On the day of the birth of Jesus, the angel’s announcement, that proclamation to the sheepherders, was the promise we needed. The promise of salvation delivered to earth to keep the fear in check and prepare us for a life of abundance. Isn’t that much better than a life filled with our worst fears and imaginations?
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Fear not. Grab hold of His safety line, because Jesus was born to bring salvation, peace and love to every one of us.