Good Tidings for Fearful Days
God does not want His children to struggle with fear. His message throughout Scripture is "fear not."
This was the angel's message to the shepherds before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The angel's sudden appearance frightened the shepherds—wouldn't you be afraid?—but the angel spoke words of comfort. "Fear not," the angel of the Lord said, "for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10–11).
The shepherds needed that encouragement to "fear not," because suddenly a multitude of angels appeared, praising the Lord (v. 13)! God revealed His power and glory, and the shepherds were not only comforted, they were motivated. They hurried off to Bethlehem to see the wonder of the Christ child in a manger and share the angel's message with the baby's parents. Later, as they returned to their flock—forever changed by what they'd seen and heard—they glorified and praised God.
So it is when God addresses our fears. It's easy to be afraid today, hearing news reports of wars and bombings, listening to dire financial predictions, and seeing corruption all around us. This is not a safe world; it's rushing headlong toward disaster. But Jesus offers us a peace that is "not as the world gives" (John 14:27). His words to us are always, "Don't be afraid." In fact, throughout Scripture we read, "fear not," "have courage," and "trust in the Lord."
Fear and worry are two of my besetting sins. When I'm not walking in the Spirit, I struggle with anxiety and depression. Fear robs me of peace to the point that I can't experience God's blessings. When those times come, I confess my fear and worry and race back into God's presence! God's presence is the only sure place of safety.
Jesus, our Immanuel—"God with us"—offers not only His presence, but also power, protection, and provision. I've learned to counsel my heart with these good tidings of God—"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.… For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you" (Isa. 41:10, 13).
Like a small child walking beside a parent, hand in hand, I walk with God through the tough days. He holds my hand and comforts my heart. As I relax in His presence—in His goodness, direction, and help—it's so easy to chime in with the shepherds, lifting my heart in praise, giving all glory to the Lord.
How about you? Does fear paralyze you so you can't deal with some area of life?
This post was written by Dawn Wilson.
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