Fear is maybe the strongest weapon that the enemy has to try to rob you of the joyful life that God wants for you. I have heard it said before if you do not believe in the promises of God, then you are by default believing in the lies of the enemy. Fear is one of the most powerful human emotions and can be healthy in dangerous situation but can also be unhealthy when it comes to our relationship with God.
Christians tend to have a complicated relationship with fear because there is much scripture telling us to “fear God” or to have the “fear of the Lord.” As a youth, this language greatly bothered me and hindered my relationship and understanding of God. Now, I understand that the Biblical version of fear is to love and respect.
Since God knows every hair on our body, He certainly knows our thoughts and emotions. So, it is understandable that when He sends an angel to deliver a message that the angel often begins the message with “fear not.” Our human condition can make us fearful of the unknown, especially the supernatural. So, it is with love, compassion, and understanding that God’s angels addresses His people with “fear not.”
So why does the angel always need to tell people not to be afraid? Fear is one of the first consequences of sin. In Genesis 3:8-10, we read that Adam and Eve hear God coming to them in the garden after they ate the forbidden fruit, and they hide because they are afraid. They are afraid because they know they have done wrong. Sin leads people to separate themselves from God, to become hostile or distant toward God. Sin is the result of “living in the flesh” rather than “living in the spirit.” Sin leads to death. We all sin and the enemy uses this fear as a weapon against us. However, Christ came to deliver us from sin and its consequences. We have no reason to live a fearful life because once we confess our sins to Him and ask for forgiveness, we are made new again. The blood of Jesus has saved us from the deadly consequences of sin.
In Luke 1:26-38, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her that she is going to be the mother of the Messiah. In verse 30, Gabriel tells her not to be afraid. In Matthew 1:19-25, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him not to be afraid to marry Mary. In Luke 2:8-20, an angel appears to shepherds and tells them not to be afraid because of the good news the angel is bringing. We are told throughout scripture to “be not afraid”, but to put our trust in God as mentioned in Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you . . .” & Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid I put my trust in you.”
How do you think you would react if angel appeared to you and told you to “fear not?” Before you answer that, consider that the Bible is the Word of God and He is telling us to “fear not.” In 2 Timothy 3:16 we are told 16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Therefore, God himself is speaking to you through the Bible and urging you to “fear not.”
As a final thought, look at this word of encouragement which reminds us of Christ’s compassion, grace and provision as stated in Matthew:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Todd is a Member of Gulf South Men, President of drtoddshupe.com and a Christian blogger at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.