Be Ye Not Afraid
Like many places around the world, we too are seeing cases of the Coronavirus where we are living and serving in Guyana. And we hear the fear in some of our friends as to what the future holds.
With fear and worry in many hearts right now…I woke this morning with the thought: I wonder what God thinks of our fear as He is obviously not caught unaware of the events unfolding around the world. He has never been caught by surprise by the chaos that happens in this world—past, present or future. This is not the first time His children have feared for their safety, and His word clearly tells us this won’t be the last either!
I saw something a few years ago that said that the words “Be not afraid,” are used 365 times throughout the Bible. However, knowing that the internet doesn’t always work on “absolute truths”…I did a quick search of two common phrases used in the King James Version to see for myself how many times does God actually speak to us about not living in fear. I searched for the phrases: “Be not afraid,” and “Fear not.”
Though they didn’t appear a total of 365 times (as the internet post had suggested); they do appear (combined) a total of 198 times throughout the Old and New Testament! There were a few instances that the Bible app picked out that are not specifically commands to us to “not fear.” But, the majority of the verses found are clearly speaking to you and me. They are God telling us to “fear not;” and to not be afraid, because “in the world [we] will have tribulation, but be of good cheer (DO NOT FEAR), I (Jesus) have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)
God cares so richly and deeply for His children as He looks down on each individual situation. He sees you…He sees your wife, your husband, your children, your parents and your friends. He sees each and every one of us—and He deeply cares about your needs.
He sees the person whose job is uncertain in these uncertain times. He sees the concerned mother, who is home fighting feelings of fear and worry over how to keep her family healthy and safe. He sees the lonely soul who sits quietly wondering if the world continues to decline how they alone will get through the tough times. To the burdened father who is anxious over paying bills; to the concerned friend worried over loved ones; to those that are feeling the touch of sickness, and those who are watching loved ones fight sickness…God sees each and every one of us. He didn’t cause your pain, but He is also not unaware of it either. He is a “very present help” in our time of need. (Psalm 46:1)
This is why He commands us so clearly and so frequently, “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 41:10 NIV) He didn’t speak that for just one person…He spoke those words for ANY and ALL who will cling to His mighty hand! Listen to God’s call today: lay down your fears and worries and replace them with His peace that He is longing to give you.
“These things I (Jesus) have spoken to you…Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:25 and 27) Heed His loving call today to rest in Him. Give your worries to the only One who can carry them just as He has carried the weight of the world many times before…He will not fail you now.