Reading Time: 7 Minutes
According to http://www.Biblegateway.com there are 193 references to “fear not” in the Bible. I haven’t taken time to read each of the references today, but I have a good enough general knowledge of the Bible to know that it is a frequent message from God to his people. Often, the “fear not” message is given when fear is likely to be present.
We are living in times when a message of “fear not” is quite appropriate. For many people this is the most difficult time of their lives. Fear, worry and anxiety are at a very high level. This Bible passage can be divided into three sections that each begin with “fear not.”
** Don’t be afraid to speak up
Jesus said, “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops” (Matthew 10.26-27).
George Washington Carver was a friend of one of my spiritual heroes, Glenn Clark. Glenn Clark wrote a short book about his friend. In that book he pointed out how Carver would spend hours in the woods in communion with Jesus. Clark believed that Jesus revealed to Carver the secrets of agriculture that were used to replenish the earth after years of cotton farming.
Could it be that George Washington Carver learned something in quiet communion with God? What he learned, he was able to bring into the light. The science truths that God whispered to him, he was able to make known to society as a whole.
What does God want to reveal through you to your work associates, your family, or even a wide audience like Carver? The first place to begin is to spend time with him, where he can whisper his truths to you.
The reason why Jesus told us to “have no fear,” is that our message may be contrary to popular opinion. God gave Isaiah a “do not fear,” message. He said, “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8.12-13).
One man described Christian conference speakers as circus elephants, who hook their trunk into the tail of the one in front. They go round-and-round, mindlessly repeating what the one in front has to say. Much of our opinions are similar to these speakers. We repeat what we have heard from others, but not what God has whispered in our ear.
It takes courage and the fear of the Lord to speak his word that will almost certainly go against the grain of the people who are just repeating what others say.
Know Who to Fear
I am currently writing this article in a comfortable chair in our basement, sipping on a rich cup of coffee. The most dangerous part of my life is driving on I-70. It is with humility I endeavor to comment on the next “do not fear” message from Jesus.
He said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10.28-30).
Open Doors ministry tracks violence against Christians throughout the world. They follow six categories. Below are the statistics for 2019.
— 2,983 Christians were killed for their faith
— 8,537 Christians were raped or sexually harassed for their faith
— 9,488 Churches or Christian buildings were attacked
— 3,711 Christians were unjustly arrested or imprisoned
— 1,052 Christians were abducted for faith-related reasons
— 3,315 Christian homes were attacked, burned or destroyed
Jesus’ words tell us that God knows what the persecuted church is suffering. He knows the boldness of these followers of Jesus, who trust him with their very lives on a daily basis. They have chosen to honor Jesus, rather than to cave under oppression and persecution.
Let’s agree to pray for these brothers and sisters of ours in Christ. Let’s also be humbled and encouraged by their devotion to Christ.
Fear Not – Speak Up
Jesus’ last “fear not” statement calls on us to speak up for our faith. He said, “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10.31-33).
My freshman English professor was a loud-mouth, intellectual atheist. He frequently made a point of telling the class that faith in God was useless.
I was a bad English student and a brand new Christian. Down the row from my seat in the class was a ditsy blond Catholic girl. We both had something is common. We might not have been able to win an argument with our professor, but we didn’t let his atheist statement pass without an objection. I am happy that the two of us were able to stand up for our faith before the class.
Coach Jake Taylor used to carry a Bible with him to class in high school. I expect he received a fair degree of ridicule for doing that, but everyone knew where he stood with Jesus.
Our son works at Amazon in the warehouse. He frequently prays for the healing of his co-workers. After one Muslim man was prayed for and healed, he said to him, “What did you do?” John just said, “I didn’t do anything. Jesus did it and he loves you.” Then, he went back to work.
The statement that God values us more than sparrows is a vast understatement. He values us so much that his Son died on the cross for us. Paul put it this way, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8.31-32).
It is with God’s great love and power that we can speak what he has whispered in our hearts, announce our devotion to him, and even die for the faith.
Dear Jesus, we praise you for every person who serves you under the threat of persecution and death. We pray for their safety and ability to speak for you. Please help us to live you in such a way that you can communicate your thoughts to us. Please give us the courage to honor you in every situation where we find ourselves.