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Do Not Fear

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them—Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:10-13)

Such phrases as “do not fear” and “do not be afraid” occur more than three hundred and twenty-five times in the Bible. Are we getting the message?

Take Your Fears to God in Prayer

When afraid, take your fears to God in prayer. Say, “God, I’m afraid of losing my job. I’m afraid of this illness. I’m afraid of this temptation.” Articulating your fears to God in prayer not only will help you distinguish between real fears and imaginary ones; but also will bring you the peace of heart and mind that only God can give. Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV84)

God Does Not Want You to be Afraid

When we read the Bible carefully, we find God telling us not to fear the simplest task or the most daunting endeavor. When Abraham faced the impossibility of fathering a child in his old age, God said, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (Genesis 15:1) When the Israelites were trapped at the Red Sea, with Pharaoh’s army in feverish pursuit, Moses said, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD , which He will accomplish for you today.” (Exodus 14:13) When Jesus taught His disciples not to worry excessively about the basic necessities of life, He said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) When the daughter of Jairus died, even then Jesus told the grieving parents,“Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” (Luke 8:50)

God is With You

In times of trouble, we often wonder if God really is with us. But His solemn promise is this: “Fear not, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 41:10) And this: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) And this: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) God is not a temporary helper. He does not arrive for the good times and depart for the bad times. If almighty God is with you, whom should you fear? A petty dictator in North Korea? A pesky problem at the office? Nonsense.

God is Your God

God said,“Be not dismayed, for I am your God” (Isaiah 41:10) And how did He become your God? By choice, not by accident. Because He wanted you, not because He was obligated to you. Because He was willing to sacrifice His own Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem you from your sins. And if God the Father was willing to sacrifice His only Son for you, will He withhold any other godly blessing from your life? No. Each time you feel fear creeping into your life, place it into the great equation of Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

God Will Strengthen You and Give You Victory

You have His word on it: “I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) When we say, “I can’t fix this problem” or “I can’t endure this burden” or “I can’t take this situation any longer”—there is entirely too much I and too little God. “I will strengthen you,” He said. I will. Today, open your Bible, turn to Isaiah 41:10-13, and in the margin write,“By the grace of God, today is the day I stopped being afraid.”

Mark Weis is a professor at Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.