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Fear Not!


Luke
2:8-14 –
And
there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the
Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about
them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “
Fear
not,
for
behold,
I bring
you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For
unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is
Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find
the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And
suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will toward men!”
Fear
Not!” “Don’t be afraid!”
These
words were spoken by the angels under a starlit sky to the shepherds.
They heard these words and did not stop to analyze or consider the
‘what if’s’ of being afraid, but instantly obeyed. They believed and
left forthwith to seek the Christ Child, lying in the manger.
These words God were
often given to people down through the ages, Why? Why suggest or
command people not to fear during different scenarios of their lives?
Isn’t it possible that to suggest or command not to fear brings on
fear? I found the phrase do not fear in the Scriptures many times and
in many instances. Curious, I discovered the message behind, “Fear
not!” It is coupled with being confident in God’s ability to
protect and care for us.
Abraham was told, “Fear
not, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1.
Gpd called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her, What ails you,
Hagar, fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.”
Genesis 21:17. Isaiah heard these words, “Fear not: for I have
redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.”
Isaiah 43:1b
Then these words are
found in Isaiah 54:4a – “Fear not; for you shalt not be ashamed,
neither be confounded.” How true that when we are afraid, we are
ashamed. We feel as if we are found wanting and guilt overwhelms us.
Then comes hopelessness and despair. And we feel trapped. Fear is
the enemy, the threshold to emptiness.
Daniel
was told,
Then
said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that thou
didnst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before
thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words
.”
Three things Daniel did – he set his heart to understand, he
chastened (self-disciplined) himself and he prayed to God. Could
Daniel have succumbed in fear? Yes! Daniel was under the constant
fear of death from the King. He was sent to the hungry lion’s den to
be torn to pieces. He stood in the dark with the sound of hungry
lions all about him. A nightmare situation!
The
king gave the order, and they brought
Daniel
and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel,

“May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Daniel
6:16
Did
Daniel cry out in fear? No. He trusted God to rescue him and praised
Him. Daniel’s faith was strong and steadfast. He was confident in
where his strength lay.
There are many kinds of
fear. Fear of the dark, fear of the unknown, fear of heights, fear
of being alone, fear of fear, fear of sickness and disease, fear of
punishment, fear of rejection and ridicule, fear of failure, fear of
spiders….the list is endless. Atrocious words to spell, or
pronounce have been attached to these fears. Does this lessen the
fear, or elevate it? Fear causes us to be immobilized, brings
physical problems, causes confusion, opens the door to do the wrong
thing (sin) and keeps us from standing firm. Fear causes us to
lessen our love for others and serving God.
The ‘what if’s’ that fear
could have brought to the shepherds the night the star shone so
brightly, could have caused them discount the announcement from the
angels. The shepherds were considered lowly, and might have asked,
“They don’t mean us, let some one else go! We don’t want to look
foolish.”
What
if’ Daniel had wimped out before the King? Surely, Daniel would have
been less than strong without his faith and trust in God! Daniel was
confident in the power of God.
Be
strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor
forsake you.
Deuteronomy
31:6 (Moses’ words to Joshua as he was ready to take his leave.)
As the new year
approaches, I wonder what is in store for me and my family. I have
thought about the affairs of our country and the world. Insecurity
is rife in so many areas such as physical safety, leadership,
economy. Killings from man and from natural causes can turn our
hearts either to fear or to God. I can be fearful or I can have
confidence. If I choose confidence, where will I find it?
I remember reading and
seeing Mom (Anna Daisy Siemens) searching for spiritual strength for
the new year as it approached. Her favorite weapon against fear was
always praise. As I looked through one of her journals, I found the
entry, one hot summer: “I heard it rain during the night, not a
lot, but a little. I smiled at God and said, Thank you
.”
In
her January 1 entry, 1994, she wrote, “
Every
year should begin with prayer and I have a thousand reasons to Thank
You, Father, this morning. So it is good to bring my Thank You to
Him. Since I can not sing too well at 86, I shall write a review of
Psalm 147, as my song of praise.

Mom’s weapon against fear and despair was Praise!
Praise
the
Lord.

How
good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to
praise him! Psalm 147:1

Many people, including my
daughter, Anna, choose a scripture to live by each new year. This
year I choose several scriptures to live by. Fear Not is
coupled with confidence in God my Father. If I have confidence in
God, I don’t have room in my life for fear of anything this world
offers. God is my Lord, Jesus is my Shepherd and the Holy Spirit is
my Helper!
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? Psalm 27:1
So
we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be
afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
This
is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence
on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. I John 4:17
This
is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything
according to his will, he hears us. I John 5:14
May your New Year be
filled with the blessings of sure faith in Christ Jesus and
remembrance of Him who walks with you in this life. Fear Not! For
in Christ Jesus, our Savior, we are blessed!

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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