Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
November 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
August 2021 (4)
July 2021 (6)
June 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

“FEAR NOT”
by Philip Owen

            “Don’t worry,” we often find ourselves saying—without any way to relieve the circumstances provoking the worry or any ability to change the mindset of the worrier.  Christ used similar words during His brief ministry on earth:  “Fear not” or “Be not afraid” was an encouragement which He frequently repeated to troubled disciples or others who came to Him.

 

            Fear of need.  We can readily identify with some of the concerns that the Lord told His disciples not to fear.  To those who would worry about meeting their needs—what they would eat and what they would wear—the Lord responded, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32).

 

Fear of hatred or persecution. Other fears, namely, open hatred and persecution, believers to this point in this country have not experienced.  But we can appreciate the genuine concern that such a prospect engendered, particularly as we see growing antagonism toward Christianity in our midst.  To such fears the Lord responded three times:  “Fear them not therefore:  for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known . . . .  And fear not them which can kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:  but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?  and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. . . .  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:26, 28, 29, 31).  No one likes to think about such possibilities; they are particularly frightening, and so the Lord Jesus tells His disciples three times to not be afraid.

 

Fear of the death of loved ones.  Which one of us has not dreaded or feared the death of a loved one?  When the ruler of the synagogue came to Christ to request the healing of his daughter, before he could fairly get his request answered, messengers came to tell him that his daughter had died.  “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe” (Mk. 5:36).   How quick the Lord is to comfort this man in his grief.

 

Fear of the blessed way and work of the Lord.  What is striking in the gospels is that the Lord reserves the most “fear nots” or “be not afraids” for circumstances arising out of a positive blessing that has been misunderstood.  As the disciples struggled on the stormy Sea of Galilee, they saw but did not recognize the Lord walking to them on the water, and “they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Matt. 14:27).  On a later occasion, the Lord is gloriously transfigured before Peter, James, and John.  God speaks out of a cloud to them.  “And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were sore afraid.  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid” (Matt. 17:7).  Just prior to His crucifixion, the Lord tells the disciples of His impending death and the giving of the “Comforter.”  Aware of the fear arising in their hearts, the Lord says:  “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).  Still later, the Lord appears to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary just after His resurrection and greets them with the words:  “All hail . . . Be not afraid” (Matt. 28:9, 10).

 

How gracious the Lord is.  Whether the fear has been provoked by a natural calamity, just the anticipation of a calamity, or the complete misapprehension of an absolute blessing (as fully half the cited instances involve), the Lord’s message is the same:  “Don’t be afraid.”  All fear is equally misplaced.  Some causes seem more justified than others, but there is never cause for fear.  First, some things we anticipate with fear never come to pass.  Second, for those trials that we must endure, He provides sufficient grace.   And third, for the blessings He sends that we misunderstand, He provides illumination so that we may come to appreciate them.  Truly, there is reason to rest in the Lord.  He has the ability to change the fearful circumstances that engulf us or to change us in the midst of fearful, engulfing circumstances—or both.

 

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page