Fear not!

If you could overcome one fear, what would it be? What makes you afraid? In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie Brown seeks counsel from Lucy at her booth. She lists a variety of anxieties and fears, and eventually asks, “Do you think you have pantophobia?” “What’s pantophobia?” “The fear of everything.” “THAT’S IT!” exclaims Charlie Brown.

Fear can be beneficial and save us from danger – “Danger Will Robinson!” It can be real and debilitating or sometimes irrational. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Really? There is fear of loss, fear of death, fear of trouble. There is terror, panic, and dread. I remember when I was afraid in a car accident, a turbulent flight overseas, and the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Fear must be dealt with throughout our lives in many seasons and circumstances, but how?

What did Jesus say about fear? In Matthew 10:28, Jesus sent the disciples out into the world as sheep among wolves, hated by all for His name’s sake. They would face persecution and be kicked out of families and circles of friends. They were about to hit a harsh world head-on. He told them, “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.” Keep a right perspective: the worst that can happen is people can kill your body; the real fear is of the Lord, who can destroy both your body and soul in hell. He can also give life, preserve and sustain it. Within the Lord’s will and protection, there is no need to fear. We overcome fear in Him and through Him. This is what He meant when He continued to say, “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. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” If you are in Christ, if you are born again, if you are His child and adopted into His family, you are valuable. All fears fall away. No weapon formed against you will prosper. He is your Savior and protector.

You overcome fear through faith, trust, and dependence on Christ. If you are right with the Lord, it is well with your soul. What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on His everlasting arms? Think rightly on these things, keep focused on Christ. His promises, His death, and resurrection, His presence with you always, to the ends of the earth, will keep you from fear. Stand and be bold. Fear not.