It’s all well and good to say, “God doesn’t want you to be afraid,” like we did in last week’s post. But that doesn’t actually help much with getting rid of our fear. Even knowing He’s patient with our fearfulness doesn’t take the fear away.
Thankfully, God’s doesn’t just order, “Fear not,” and leave it at that. He offers specific promises that give us tangible reasons not to be afraid. And when we are fearful, those promises can help us overcome to act in faith despite our fears. This past week, I went through the Bible looking for all the reasons God gives for us not being afraid. There are many, but I’ve sorted them into four main categories:
God Is With You
Before Moses’s death, God inspired Him to share these words with Israel:
Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or scared of them; for Yahweh your God himself is who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you. (Deut. 31:6, WEB)
The number one reason we have for living without fear is that God Himself is with us. And not just as a church or a group of people. Individuals can also receive this promise, as did Isaac (Gen. 26:24), Joshua (Josh. 1:9), David (Ps. 23:4), Solomon (1 Chr. 28:20), and Jeremiah (Jer. 1:8).
Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. (Is. 41:10, WEB)
God promises not to let us down or leave us alone. That means the most powerful being in existence is at your side through everything. He doesn’t leave us to figure things out on our own nor abandon us in our struggles.
God Fights For You
God is with us in a very active role. He’s not just there to lend some moral support. He will fight for us, much the same way He promised to do for ancient Israel (Ex. 14:13-14; Deut. 3:22). Even though we can’t see Him or His army, they are there (2 Kings 6:16-17). And we can have confidence in Him as our deliverer because of these promises.
I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people who have set themselves against me on every side. Arise, Yahweh! Save me, my God! For you have struck all of my enemies on the cheek bone. You have broken the teeth of the wicked. (Ps. 3:6-7, WEB)
In this Psalm, David calls on God to fight for him and trusts that He’ll do just that because He’s done so in the past (see also Psalm 56). And this isn’t just a promise for people like military leaders and kings. Other verses open it up to anyone who’s scared.
Tell those who have a fearful heart, “Be strong. Don’t be afraid. Behold, your God will come with vengeance, God’s retribution. He will come and save you. (Is. 35:4, WEB)
It’s also worth noting that God protects us while He fights for us. Psalm 46 describes Him as “our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble.” He’s so reliable that we need not be afraid even if the earth changes, mountains fall, and floods roar (Ps. 46:1-3). He’s a completely reliable place of safety.
God Is Your Savior
God’s work as savior, deliverer, and redeemer is very closely connected to His choice to fight for us. He’ll fight on our behalf, He’ll fight to keep us safe, and He’ll fight to make us His.
But now Yahweh who created you, Jacob, and he who formed you, Israel says: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine.” (Is. 43:1-2, WEB)
Don’t fear, neither be afraid. Haven’t I declared it to you long ago, and shown it? You are my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Indeed, there is not. I don’t know any other Rock. (Is. 44:8, WEB)
I’ve developed quite a fondness for the book of Isaiah over the last few years. There’s so much encouragement in the way it shows God’s commitment to His people. If you can spare a few minutes, take the time to read all of Isaiah 43 and the first part of 44. It’s full of assurances that we can trust God to save us.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 27:1, KJV)
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Ps. 34:4, KJV)
The verses we referenced in Isaiah share God’s perspective on what He will do for us. The Psalms shows us what it’s like from a human perspective to live in the type of promises God makes us. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?
You Are Valued
This point should be obvious from the facts that God is with you, fights for you, and saves you. But just in case it isn’t, Jesus came to prove God is 100% invested in us. He is Immanuel (God with us), He vanquished sin and death, and He’s our savior (Matt. 1:23; Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:25-26). And He reassured us with both word and action that we are truly, deeply, loved.
Aren’t five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7, WEB)
Our Creator isn’t inattentive to even the parts of His creation that seem common. How much more does He value the people He made in His own image? Realizing how highly God values us gives us the confidence to live with less anxiety, as Jesus talks about in the sermon on the mount (Luke 12:22-31). And in Luke’s account, He adds, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32, KJV). God wants you in His family and He’ll work with you to overcome anything that might keep you out.
God is love, and “perfect love casts our fear” (1 John 4:8, 18). The spirit God puts inside us isn’t one of timidity, “but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7, KJV). That’s why we need not be afraid, or at the very least need not be held back by our fears. The end result of a faithful reliance on God is confidence, not fearfulness. Though it may be a long process for those who, like me, are more timid, our relationship with God is meant to turn us into someone like the person described in this Psalm:
For he will not be shaken forever; the righteous will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is steadfast, secure in Yahweh. His heart is sustained; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his enemies. (Ps. 112:6-8, LEB)