The command, “Do not be afraid” is found in one form or another dozens of times in the Bible. It’s one of the most frequent directives in scripture and it’s always spoken by God, angels or God’s appointed leaders. It’s a direct order given to leaders, individuals, crowds and nations. This communicates two very crucial truths.
1. People struggle with fear. It’s a constant reality that none of us are immune to.
2. God wants us to fight fear. He commands us to refuse to succumb to its power and control.
It may sound idealistic for God to command you to “fear not!” After all, what does God have to be afraid of? He has no challengers or rivals. Nothing intimidates Him. He’s never been bullied. For God, there is no such thing as the “unknown.” He has never once been surprised.
But you have. You do have rivals and challengers and unknown outcomes. For you, fear is a daily fight. It’s a companion that never really leaves your side.
So how can you obey this directive from scripture, the same directive the angel gave to the Virgin Mary when he told her she would give birth to the Son of God? Is there something you’re not understanding in your fight against fear? Is there an angle that you’re not recognizing? Maybe this will help …
When you feel frustrated with fear, consider God’s perspective when He commands you, “Do not be afraid.” Instead of feeling frustration at the impossibility of eradicating fear from your life, look at this command from God’s perspective.
It is precisely because God has never known fear that He can command you to reject its lies. It is precisely because He has never been surprised that you can find rest in surprising, unexpected situations. It is precisely because God can see the future that you don’t need to be afraid of it. It is precisely because you belong to a God who is immune to fear that you can overcome it by His grace.
Sure, you have been caught off guard by the unexpected medical bill, the lack of money, the doctors report or the angry email from a friend. But God never has. And it precisely because of God’s perspective that you don’t have to be afraid. You belong to Him. He sees the future and prepares you for it by providing you with the strength, wisdom and courage to face every challenge. His Spirit lives in you. His blood redeemed you from death and sin. Do you really imagine that you should fear anything when you belong to the God who sees and knows everything? Fight fear with faith in a God who knows no fear.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. —Psalms 56:3