Do Not Be Afraid

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Psalm 27:1 (NIV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?

When I go through darkness, Jesus is my Light. When I am in trouble, Jesus is my Salvation. When I am weak, Jesus is the Stronghold of my life. Indeed, I can say, “Whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?”

This Bible verse in Psalm 27 brings to my mind how “do not be afraid” is said four times to four different people in the Christmas story.

In Luke 1:13 (NIV), the angel tells Zechariah, the father-to-be of John the Baptist, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard…”

In Luke 1:30 (NIV), the angel says to Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.”

In Matthew 1:20  (NIV), an angel of the Lord says to Joseph, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

In Luke 2:10 & 11 (NIV), an angel of the Lord tells the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people…there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Like Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, all of us have fears in our life. Very likely, right at this moment, there is something you are afraid of. Perhaps your fear is related to your career, family, health, finances, future or relationships.

Today, on the eve of Christmas, God is saying to you and me, “Do not be afraid, my child.” God is reminding us that Christmas is God’s divine intervention in our lives to bring joy and peace, not fear.

When we feel helpless and hopeless, God tells us that we need not fear. Just as the Lord has heard Zechariah’s prayer, God hears the deepest cries of our heart and is here with us to comfort us. God understands our innermost needs and desires, and His Hand is upon us to provide for our needs and fulfill our desires.

When we do not understand why it seems like everything and everyone are against us, God is saying to us what He says to Mary. He says we do not have to be afraid because we have His divine favor. He is working behind the scenes on our behalf to shift things to our favor. For all His children who love Him and are called by Him, God is able to cause all things to work together for their good and benefit. (Romans 8:28)

When we feel overwhelmed about what God has called us to do, or when pursuing God’s calling and things do not turn out the way we think they would, God tells us we need not fear. Joseph’s wedding plan is certainly not going the way he thinks as his fiancé is now pregnant. But God’s Word to him is not to be afraid for all these are part of God’s greater plans. In the same way, God is telling us not to be afraid of what we do not understand or expect. Know that He is in it with us and for us. Know that He is up to something greater than we think.

When we face something bigger than us, God says we do not have to be afraid. Like what the angel announces to the shepherds, Christ the Lord has been born for us. He is our Savior Who is bigger than anything that threatens us. The Bible tells us we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:37). Jesus saves because Jesus loves. No matter how big an obstacle you face, know this, “…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38 & 39 (NIV)

Do not be afraid, my friend. Jesus has come, died, resurrected and risen so that there needs not be fear in our life. In all things, be confident in the sovereignty and sufficiency of our God. Our security comes not from what we have or where we are, but Who we have with us. God is with us, He loves us and is leading us into the life of blessing that He has prepared for us. Enjoy a fearless, peace-filled and joyful Christmas.

Let us pray together.

“Heavenly Father, I trust in You. Even when things do not go the way I have planned, I know You are at work in my life, always leading me into Your will and ways. Even when I face the unknown, I thank You that they are not unknown to You and that You hold my future in Your Almighty Hands. I thank You for Your perfect love which casts out all my fear, O Lord. Use me to draw the friends around me who are afraid, to Your love so that they may know and believe Christ the Lord is their Savior. I love You and commit every area of my life to You, O God. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

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