Nothing is so much to be feared as fear. —Henry David Thoreau
God’s most frequently repeated instruction in Scripture is formulated in two words: Fear not.
Many times throughout Scripture we see the phrase: Do not be afraid. Be strong and courageous. Fear not. Fear will cause us to bend and give way under pressure, and settle for less than God’s best. It’ll cause us to disobey God after weakening our trust in Him. It’ll rob us of our peace and joy. Here are some of the best scriptures instructing us not to fear. They also help to strengthen our faith.
”The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.“ 1 John 4:18
God actually commands us not to fear or worry. I’ve been a Christian for over 25 years now, and I’m still in awe that God, who created the universe, cares about every detail of our lives. We belong to an all-powerful, all-knowing, victorious Father who cares deeply about us. When we really abide and meditate on this truth, it’s hard to remain fearful about the trials we face.
Hearing God In The Storm
In a previous post Fear Will Sabotage Your Destiny, I shared that storms will come. It’s inevitable. Jesus helps us deal with them in the midst of the chaos. Jesus and his disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee when a storm rolls in. The waves threaten to sink the boat. Jesus is asleep as the chaos breaks out around him. Calming the storm is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, reported in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25.
Matthew 8:23-27 account says that after Jesus and the disciples got into the boat a furious storm came up on the lake. The waves began to sweep over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples were afraid so they went and woke him up. They said to Him, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” vs. 25. He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” vs. 26. Then Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The disciples were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” vs. 27.
The disciples lack of faith reminds us that even those who lived and walked with Jesus, saw His miracles, and heard His message still found it difficult to be 100 percent faith-filled all the time. If Jesus was able to rescue the disciples from the storm, He is also able to rescue us from the storms of everyday life: sickness, job loss, marriage problems, rebellious children, and even the sting of death.
When Jesus “gave orders to go over to the other side” (Matt. 8:18), He knew the storm was coming. Even with a storm brewing, He decided to launch out to sea. When storms come we might be tempted to think that Jesus is asleep while the waves are raging all around. What should we do? The Lord never promised we will never see a storm in life (as a matter of fact, He has told us to expect trouble, Jn. 16:33). He promises that He will be with us in the storm. He will never leave His children alone in the midst of trouble; with perseverance they will overcome (Deut. 31:8, Jas. 1:12).
Be encouraged when the storms come knowing that God speaks to us in the midst of the storms of life telling us to “fear not.” We can have peace because He “is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46.1).
Note: All Scripture is taken from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.