Some of our dearest friends at times pooh-pooh our fears. They insist we are silly, unreasonable or wrong-headed by the things that make us lie awake at night. But did you know that in the Bible God takes our fears very seriously? In fact God lovingly and patiently tells us 150 times in the Bible. “Fear not!” – or in some translations – “Don’t be Afraid!” Rather than lecturing s about our fault God offers us a promise, a reminder and a solution.
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.’ Isaiah 41:10
He has promised to be with us. He doesn’t tell us like the doctor, “Take three of these, drink lots of water and call me tomorrow.” No God promises to constantly remain at our side. He is there through the sleepless nights and He keeps us close especially when we are afraid. Then God reminds us that not only will He be with us but that He will strengthen us. He isn’t simply hanging around. He will pour out on us the oil and wine of His presence when we have been wounded and carried us when we can’t go on. Last of all our God is a very practical God. When the apostle Peter tried walking out on the water toward Jesus we are told that he became afraid and started to sink. I am so glad that Jesus didn’t just stand there with his arms folded saying, “Come on Peter you can do it!”
No! We are told that as Peter began to sink Jesus immediately reached down and took his hand. I am so glad that on days when I feel I am sinking out of sight that His solution is not a lecture but a strong right hand that will hold me and help me to walk into this New Year with Him with all 150 “Fear Nots”!