Live Fear-Free (Day 3)
How does God feel about our anxiety?
The most repeated command in the Bible notto do something is “do not fear.” At first glance, this may make us feel like we are condemned for being afraid. We may feel we are not good enough, we are not strong enough, we do not have enough faith. Is God displeased with us?
Scripture reveals that in fact, condemnation may be the opposite of why this command is repeated so often. Look at the lists of sins in the New Testament. There was a common device when the New Testament was written called a vice list. It was not a comprehensive listing of all the things that you could do that were bad, but a list that gave you characteristics of bad character. The kind of person that did these kinds of things was a corrupted person. The actions indicated a dangerous person of bad character. There are 20 vice lists in the New Testament, and they are filled with emotions. Bad characters are said to love certain bad things and hate certain good things. They harbor sinful anger for long periods of time.
Fear does not appear even one time. There were 20 opportunities for Bible writers to flag a fearful person as one to be wary of or someone who does not follow God. They never did. A person who has times of fear is not a person to be avoided. They are a person to be embraced, encouraged, and loved.
In Matthew 28 we read of the women who went to Jesus’s tomb. There was a sudden earthquake, an angel appearing, and an open tomb! Who would not be afraid in that situation? Like the angel calming the women’s fear with words of truth and comfort, fear is something to be battled and calmed with our knowledge of God’s love and provision for us. In the words of 1 John, fear can be loved away. The most repeated command in the Bible is not to fear because God knows we are weak, needy people that need patient and loving words of assurance.
If you feel vulnerable and weak because of your fear, God embraces you. Read 1 John 4, which mentions love over 25 times, to remind yourself that God loves you and holds your future in his hands.