Wednesday

"Fear Not" -- Comfort with Teeth

A struggling friend once accused me of having a Pollyanna approach to life. You just think happy thoughts, look on the bright side, and focus on the good. You pretend the bad stuff doesn’t exists.

Seriously? Does she really think this is how Christians deal with trials?

If my husband came home with a frightening diagnosis or a pink slip in his lunch box, would I say, “Oh, don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine”? Probably not.

I would, however, speak biblical truth to him – comfort with teeth. And a backbone.

I would speak one of the most common phrases in the Bible, “Fear not.” But I wouldn’t stop there.
You see, “Fear not,” even when it comes from the Bible, isn’t enough. “Fear not” is only half the story. God’s repeated command to his children is powerful because of what comes after the command.

When we face times of trial, sickness, or loss, it isn’t enough to hear someone (even God) say, “Don’t be afraid.” We need to know why we don’t have to be afraid.

Thankfully, when God challenges us not to be afraid, he also tells us why.

Listen:

"Do not be afraid, (insert your name here). I am your shield, your very great reward." (Gen. 15:1).

“Fear not, for I am with you,” (Gen. 26:24).

“Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you," (Deu. 31:6).

“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,” (Isa. 41:10).

When God says, “Fear not” to his children, he backs it up with offers of his help, presence, and protection. No matter what comes into our lives, we don’t have to be afraid, because God is our advocate. Whatever we face, we’ll face with him. And he is a mighty powerful ally.

Will he protect me from every sad, bad, hard trial? No. As long as we live in this sinful, broken world, we will have tribulation. “But be of good cheer,” Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.”

"Do not be afraid,” he commands in the final book of the Bible, “I am the First and the Last,” (Rev. 1:17). In the end all will be made right. In the meantime, God will walk beside me into every trial I face. And with him by my side, I need not be afraid.

To my friend who called me a Pollyanna, I say, that’s powerful comfort – comfort with teeth. And a backbone.


For some musical reinforcement of "Fear Not," I know you'll enjoy Keith and Kristyn Geddy's "Consider the Stars." If you're reading by email and can't see the video, click here to listen to "Consider the Stars" on YouTube.



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