fear not

President Roosevelt famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” That’s not exactly true, in context. It’s good to fear a buffalo chasing after you through Custer State Park. A healthy fear of dangerous animals, people, or situations will save your life, and we should always respond rightly to appropriate fear. But there is also irrational, unnecessary fear, which is what the President was talking about, the “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes.” That type of fear never helps.

David was afraid. In 1 Samuel 27, he thought King Saul was going to kill him, but he had no reason to think that. God has anointed him to be the new king and had never given David reason to think otherwise. He had never left him alone and had always delivered him through every tough time and crisis. Jonathan, Abigail, Saul, and God Himself told David things would work out in his favor. Yet David was afraid. And we get afraid too, sometimes for no reason; an irrational, paralyzing, gloomy fear that breeds stupid thoughts and actions.

God doesn’t give us reason to fear. He said many times, “Fear not.” Should we ever doubt His goodness? Hasn’t He always loved you and protected you? Is there any place you can look at your life and say, “God let me down, He didn’t come through for me?” He will never leave you nor forsake you. His mercies endure forever, even in the hardest of times. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling (Psalm 46:1-3).”

Maybe you don’t get things your way, on your terms, or maybe you go through a dark time. There are conflicts and fights and trials, but Jesus warned us we would have these. He promised to be with you always, even in and through hardships. God is faithful. He will keep His people to the end. Don’t doubt Him. Fear not.