“Fear not, child, for I am with you.” In fact, did you know that the phrase “fear not” is stated in the Bible 366 times? That’s one “fear not” for every day of the year, with one extra left over for those really hard days. Why does God faithfully remind us over and over to “fear not”? He does so because we are not created to live in fear. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” You and I were created to live by faith, and in God, we have all the power we need for a faith that is stronger than all our fears.
Actually, in my search on Biblos, there was 103 occurrences of “fear not” in the King James version. In my Internet search, I saw some suggest there were 63 occurrences; others said 101, 62, 144, 79, 61. And then there’s discussion about whether you should count “do not be afraid” along with “fear not”. WHEW!
One for each day of the year (plus one for hard days) sounds better though, doesn’t it? In chasing down the “number”, one can easily lose sight of the message. Whether it’s 61 or 366 or something else, it’s clear God told us to “fear not” again and again and again. And when we’re in the Word, we know that He is still telling us to fear…not…this…very…day!
My “Message from God” email today was also about fear; or rather, facing fear. There are no coincidences, right? It concluded with something like, whatever the fear is (my editorial additions: fear of taunting at school, rejection by friends and colleagues, rejection by family, putting kids through college, retirement plans, supporting your family, loss of job, taking a stand for something at work, upcoming surgery for you or others, upcoming health tests for you or others, weight, dying, upcoming trip, …), whatever the fear is, begin to face it by saying it to Jesus right now.
I’m gonna do just that.
Loving the Journey,