Don’t Be Afraid (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 358)
Luke 2:10 (NLT)
But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.”
Throughout the Christmas story, four individuals had two things in common with each other. Joseph, Mary, Zechariah and the shepherds all were afraid or troubled and each time an angel came to them and told them not to be afraid. To the shepherds, the angel told them not to be afraid because of the promise of a Savior. To Mary, the angel told her not to be afraid because she was in God’s favor. To Joseph, the angel told him not to be afraid and instead to follow God’s divine plan for the Christ child’s birth. To Zechariah, the angel told him not to be afraid because his prayers for a child had been answered.
Just like Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, and the shepherds, we are people who often are easily fearful and troubled by the circumstances that we face. Fear is a natural human emotion but God never intended for us to live our lives in fear of the past, the present, or the future. The enemy wants us to get stuck in a cycle of fear, but God whispers the same words of the angels long ago, “Don’t be afraid.” Time and again in his word, he instructs us to not be afraid and instead to be courageous, to trust, and to hold on to his promises.
We don’t have to be afraid because God’s love is the same yesterday, today and forever. His love casts fear out of our lives. The light of Christ stepped into the world and into our hearts and it crushed fear. Fear and perfect love cannot abide in the same heart. Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, or the shepherds may have had reason to fear as their world was under a constant cloud of unrest. But when the angel came, he brought “good news” and “great joy”. He didn’t say to be courageous or to be brave. He simply said not to fear because Christ is coming into the world to replace all fear with peace, love, grace, and blessed assurance.
You might be facing deep loss in your life. Perhaps, a beloved family member or close friend has died and you feel a piece of you went with them. Maybe you lost your job and have not been able to find solid work and thus find it increasingly difficult to take care of your family. Or maybe you or someone you love is facing a terminal illness such as cancer. Perhaps you’re fighting for your family, fighting depression, anger, anxiety, or resentment, fighting addictions, fighting toxic relationships, fighting to be whole. God wants you to know something: No matter where you are in life or what you are going through, do not be afraid. Let your soul open up to the deep peace that can only be found in Christ.
“Our lives are full of supposes. Suppose this should happen, or suppose that should happen; what could we do; how could we bear it? But, if we are living in the high tower of the dwelling place of God, all these supposes will drop out of our lives. We shall be quiet from the fear of evil, for no threatenings of evil can penetrate into the high tower of God.”
— Hannah Whitall Smith