During the time of the prophet Isaiah, the people of God were going through a difficult time of upheaval, insecurity, and loss. They were experiencing great confusion and fear. But God's promise to them 2,700 years ago remains a promise for us today: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned" (Isaiah 43:1-2).
Over and over in Scripture, God assures His people to "fear not." In the heat of battle and in moments of deep disappointment, God assures us that we have no reason to allow fear to intimidate, confuse, or defeat us.
Read Matthew 10:24-31. As Jesus was preparing the disciples for ministry, He provided three pivotal "fear nots" that we can cling to in our own moments of doubt:
Fear not, for the Truth will ultimately triumph. In verse 26, Jesus said: "So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." Jesus encouraged the disciples that even amidst persecution, they did not need to be afraid. Why? Because God has promised to vindicate His faithful children. God has promised to ultimately exalt righteousness and condemn and judge sin and deception.
Fear not, because heaven is your destination. In verse 28, Jesus told the disciples, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." Standing firm for the Gospel can be costly. But as children of the living God, we have nothing to fear on this earth because our eternal destination is secure in Christ.
Fear not, because God has everything under control. In verses 29 and 30, Jesus said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall, apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered." If God sustains the smallest of birds and takes interest in the smallest details of our lives, how much more does He take interest in providing for our needs?
When you find yourself in deep waters, remember that God will not let you drown. When you pass through the fiery furnace, remember that He will not allow a single hair on your head to be singed. Trust in Him, and you will experience His presence in ways you could never have experienced in ten storm-less lifetimes.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your promises! Help me to obey Your command to fear not and to trust in Your faithfulness and power when it seems that all hope is lost. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise - in God I trust and am not afraid" (Psalm 56:3-4).