Isaiah 41:10 – Do not yield to fear, for I am always near. Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with my strength and help you in every situation. I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.’
Fear. What an interesting word. For years, I really didn’t think fear was a part of my life. I felt fear was being afraid of mice or snakes or bugs. These things don’t really bother me. Fear could be afraid of heights. Again, not really my shtick.
But then I realized there is a whole shadow side of fear:
Fear of failure.
Fear you aren’t good enough.
Or do enough.
Or aren’t perfect.
Or do not fit in.
Fear that I will make a wrong choice … and so do not make a choice at all. (Which actually IS a choice.)
Fear that success will change me or what’s important to me.
Fear of disappointing myself or others.
Oh yes, there is plenty of fear to go around, isn’t there my friends?
Of late, I am beginning to realize that fear really takes up more real estate in my life than I care to give it credit. It’s not something I’m terribly proud of or is it easy to admit.
But it’s there.
So, I did a search of the Bible for “Do not fear.” Here’s what I found.
With the translation that I used, there are 19 instances where the words “Do not fear” appear in the Bible. There are the very common times, like when the angel tells Mary, the mother of Jesus, “Do not fear.” Mary’s response has always amazed me. Here she is, an engaged teenager. And this angel tells her not to be afraid … even though you are carrying God’s very son?
I’m not sure my response would have been as calm as Mary’s.
I love this the example from Isaiah 41:10. This translation says, “Do not yield to fear, for I am always near.”
What a great reminder. We CHOOSE whether or not fear will be a part of our lives. We CHOOSE how much real estate fear will occupy in our hearts and souls. The problem is, most of us do not assume we can make a choice about whether fear is a part of our daily lives or not. We just assume it happens … and we can’t do anything about it.
But this verse paints us a different picture. Yes, we CAN do something. We can keep our eyes on God. God is forever faithful and right there. Too often, we think we must go it alone. But this isn’t necessary. God’s hand will be our guide.
What a relief.
What a joy.
What an opportunity to rethink how we let fear creep into our lives.
What gives you fear in your life? What occupies way too much space in your head and heart? What do you need to turn over to God?
Then, let’s do this. It’s let go of our fear and let God manage it.
“Do not yield to fear.”
We make the choice. How do you choose?
For the opportunity to not let fear take over, I am grateful.
Dear God – May I see that fear is best handled when I let You handle me. As I name the ways fear creeps into my life, I pray that I can fully release it to You. Amen.
Check out these other reflections about fear today:
Does Fear Have a Place in the Life of a Christian? By Regina Marcazzo-Skarka
Living Fearless By Sharla Hallett
Why I am So Scared By Amy Cobb
I ain’t afraid: Reflections on turning 50 By Jessica Weaver
How to Help Kids with Anxiety and Fear By Ashley Olivine