I don’t like math and science. It just isn’t my bailywick … but I do LOVE history. I consume documentaries, totally immersing myself in the era portrayed, imagining how I would act or react under similar circumstances. I guess I like the emotion of history.
I also like famous quotes. One of my favorites is “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” made famous in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first inaugural speech on March 4, 1933. America was in the midst of the Great Depression, and everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE was fearful of what may lay ahead. FDR used this phrase to help introduce his New Deal plan to create jobs, get people working, and get this country past the point of fear and onto the road to recovery. I see a lot of fear and uncertainty in people nowadays.
When I think about this quote I’m reminded of the statement “fear not” used so often in the Bible. We have heard it numerous times around Christmas as the angels told the shepherds “fear not” as they announced the birth of Christ. Research tells me “fear not” or “be not afraid” are used 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year. If it’s repeated that often, I figure it must be pretty important for you and me to lean on that promise because He doesn’t want us to spend our days preoccupied with anxiety and worry.
Why does God stress the importance of avoiding fear? Perhaps it’s our past hurts capture our thoughts causing us to think that God is out to get us, or that God isn’t powerful enough to fix the mess we find ourselves in. That’s not true. Jesus is more than sufficient to handle any problems we have, even our fear.
In Psalm 56:3-4, shepherd boy turned King David, has been seized by the Philistines and he starts to become afraid, but instead he sets his vision on his Lord and Savior in his midst. He praises God and his word to him: “Fear not!” He puts his trust in the Lord. “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”
For all you fact-finders out there, “fear” is spoken of over 500 times in the King James Version of the Bible. In addition to the “fear nots” many times it’s saying “fear God,” which really means reverence God alone and do not fear anyone or anything else. Expanding the search to look at verses encouraging us not to worry or not to be anxious would add many, many more “fear not” Scriptures. So, I’m taking “fear not” to heart and remembering, I have nothing to be afraid of.
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