How would you feel if you were asked to fight a giant? One who towered over you, was trained as a warrior from his childhood, wore technologically advanced body armor, had an extra bodyguard, and could run you through with one thrust of his huge spear? I’d be afraid – or at least I would be if I was fighting him alone.
Last Tuesday at the Porch, we talked about how David faced that exact situation when he took on Goliath in a fight for Israel’s freedom. Instead of cowering in fear, David relied on God’s power and stepped out in faith. The fight ended pretty quickly, with David launching a rock into the giant’s face and then cutting off Goliath’s head with his own massive sword. Victory, but David knew he didn’t earn it on his own – God made it happen.
You may not be facing a literal giant today, but something in your life probably has you scared, or at least uncertain or even worried. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to get out of a huge amount of debt. Or make ends meet with a paycheck that’s anything but giant. Or tackle that big task your boss assigned but you have no idea how to do. Or maybe you’re battling an illness that wins almost every time. Or maybe you feel like you’ll be fighting alone for the rest of your life, with no partner next to you. Or maybe ______________. You fill in the blank – whatever it is, it’s big.
So how are you supposed to handle stuff that’s scary and bigger than you are? Hint: not by yourself.
Do you know what the most repeated command from God in the Bible is? You might think it’s one of the Ten Commandments, or some other sort of “do not.” And well, you’re sort of right, but it might surprise you. Here it is:
Do. Not. Fear.
That’s right – “do not be afraid” (or some variation of that) is one of the most repeated messages in the Bible. God wants you to hear that. But it’s not just a mic drop or an empty statement; there’s almost always a “because” that comes after it. There are really good reasons why we don’t have to be afraid if we have trusted Christ, and that’s what God wants us to understand.
There are more Bible verses on not being afraid than this blog post has room for, but here are 10 that stand out to me:
Isaiah 41:10 – “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.”
Isaiah 43:1b – “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 118:6-7 – “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.”
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Proverbs 29:25 – “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
Hebrews 2:14-15 – “…[Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”
There’s a lot of truth in those 10 passages. If you have trusted Christ, you don’t have to be afraid because God loves you perfectly, God is with you always, and God has given you a spirit not of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline.
It’s important to realize that the Bible isn’t saying that you don’t have to be afraid because God is going to fix everything in the way you expect and in the timing you want. Ultimately, He will make everything new and perfect, but while you’re alive you may not be delivered from whatever situation is making you afraid. What delivers you from fear isn’t a change in circumstances, but a change in focus and an exercise of faith, knowing that God loves you and is completely good and completely trustworthy.
Even if you keep all of those truths in mind, there are going to be some times when you battle fear. In those moments, here’s what God wants you to do:
Trust Him (Psalm 56:3)
Humble yourself before Him (1 Peter 5:7)
Ask Him for help (Philippians 4:6-7)
Take strength from Jesus’ example (Hebrews 12:2-3)
Step out in faith (Matthew 14:27-29)
Obey God, no matter the situation (1 Peter 3:14-15)
God doesn’t want you to live in fear, and He’s given you the weapons you need to fight fear. Will you use them?