Say no to fear.
At one level fear is healthy. “Fear” is an emotion introduced by a perceived threat. It is a guiding emotion. It is God-given. It is a basic survival mechanism. It keeps us alive. It keeps us from danger.
However, there is also unhealthy fear. The Greek word commonly used is phobos – from the English word ‘phobia.’ This is unhealthy fear that disproportionately views danger. This is when ‘False Evidence Appears Real,’ in the overestimating danger and underestimating one’s ability to cope.
In my own life I have experienced many fears – from a fear of spiders to blood and a fear of doing anything that might bring dishonor to God.
The difference we see in the Bible is the healthy fear – the fear of God. This does not mean a fear of God; in fact it means a deeper understanding of who God is in relation to us. Fear God and you need not fear anything else or anyone else.
It is no wonder we’ve turned to unhealthy fear, because the fear of God has decreased in our society while all other fears increased. The fear of aging, or unpopularity, etc. we need to return to the right relationship with God.
The expression ‘do not be afraid’ appears in the Bible 366 times – one for every say of the year (including leap years, like this year).
Proverbs 1:20-32 talks to us about choosing to fear God, to listen to him and repent when he corrects.
In Matthew 10:1-31 Jesus uses the very words of ‘do not be afraid’ three times as he is sending his disciples to preach the gospel. They will be opposed by ‘local councils’ (v.17), face hatred (v.22), be persecuted (v.23) and be called demonic (v.25). How many of us still see the relevance of this passage today and face very similar oppositions? *Raises hand*
There is nothing new under the sun; Jesus and his disciples faced it and we are still facing it. Our blueprint to life is in these passages, in the Bible. We don’t need any more keys to life (sorry DJ Khaled), there’s just one… and it’s available to everyone