Fear Not

December 21, 2012

The two little glorious words “fear not” are stamped all over the Christmas story.

To Joseph:

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, FEAR NOT to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. – Matthew 1:20

To Mary:

And the angel said unto her, FEAR NOT, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. – Luke 1:30

To the shepherds:

And the angel said unto them, FEAR NOT: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. – Luke 2:10

Joseph was afraid his plan was falling apart. Mary was afraid her life was ruined. The shepherds were afraid they were about to die.

But every part of the Christmas narrative is laced with God’s sweet reminders that there is no cause to be afraid.

  • Even when, like Joseph, your plan falls apart…God says, “Fear not.”
  • Even when, like Mary, the unexpected happens and no one understands… God says, “Fear not.”
  • Even when, like the shepherds, you find yourself in uncharted waters… God says, “Fear not.”

I recently asked God to search my heart. I wanted Him to point out anything that displeased Him. I expected Him to reveal an unsurrendered area of my heart or something of that nature. Instead, He surprised me by pointing out all the fear in my heart.

I had no idea how fearful I was! But He began to show me how many of my actions, words, and feelings stemmed from different fears in my heart. Fear was having more of an impact on my life than I would have ever imagined.

WHAT CAUSES FEAR?

  1. Fear is always in regard to the unknown. (“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.” – Titus)
  2. Our fears are directly correlated with our source of security.

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF FEAR?

  1. Fear paralyzes us. It can prevent us from taking action, stepping out, or pursuing our dreams.
  2. Fear often dresses up as anger. In fact, most angry people are very afraid. A man who just lost his job might become very fearful of being unable to provide, and lash out at his family in anger when a money issue comes up.
  3. Fear doesn’t change anything outside us, it only changes things inside us.
  4. Fear acts as a magnifying glass. Fear magnifies the thing causing it.The thing we are afraid of turns out to not be as big as it seems when we tackle it. (For example, I recently jumped off a ten foot ledge into water. Ten feet doesn’t sound high, but trust me, it is. The longer I stood on the ledge, the more nervous I got. But after I jumped off, it didn’t seem like a big deal at all!)

WHAT AM I AFRAID OF?

I began making a list of all the things I was afraid of.  I tend to worry about finances, and three of my fears reflected this:

  1. I won’t be able to provide for my family.
  2. My book will fail.
  3. I won’t make it as a writer.

Writing down my fears was one of the best things I’ve done in a long time. I learned my fears are much scarier in my head than they are on paper. When I wrote them down, I actually laughed at how silly and unreasonable they were. Putting them down on a piece of paper immediately put them in perspective.

**Please, please, please take a moment to do this little exercise today. I’m begging you. Please do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a napkin, sticky note, or on a computer. It will only take a few seconds. Just make a quick list of everything you’re afraid of.**

WHAT PREVENTS FEAR?

Fear was never a part of God’s plan. God created us to live fear-free lives. Fear was introduced into the world through Adam and Eve’s sin in Genesis 3 (“I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid” Gen. 3:10)

God lovingly reminded me that fear and faith cannot occupy the same space. The fear in different areas of my heart were indications that I wasn’t trusting God in those areas.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. – Psalm 56:3

So how do we overcome our fears? With faith.

God’s message hasn’t changed. To the scared little girl, worried carpenter, and frightened shepherds He whispered, “Fear not!”

And if you’ll close your eyes and listen… you’ll hear Him saying the same thing to you.

 

Question: What are you afraid of? You can leave a comment by clicking here.