Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Do not be afraid

The Bible's most common command to Christians is, "do not be afraid". It appears 84 times in the Old Testament alone.

Why is it the most common command? There are two obvious reasons:
  1. Fear and faith are opposites. To trust God means not to be afraid of the worst that men or Satan can do. To fear as we see circumstances closing in on us, means that we think we won't be safe relying on God alone.
  2. For fallen men and women, in their alienation from and ignorance of God, fear drives almost everything they do. They fear social rejection or ridicule, so they conform with what is wrong. They fear being hungry or homeless because they don't have access to the God who provides and try instead to fall back on their own resources. They fear death because they instinctively know they are not right with their Maker, cut off from the source of life.
Ultimately, fear makes no sense for God's children. Is God all-powerful, so that he can prevent anything not ultimately beneficial to you? Yes. Is God all-loving, so that he does not desire anything not ultimately beneficial to come to you? Yes. Is God all-knowing and all-wise, so that he is fully aware of everything that could possibly come to you? Yes. So what is there left to be afraid of? Only God himself - and because of Jesus Christ, that is the fear of obedient and reverent and rejoicing sons and daughters, not of condemned sinners. The only thing we should fear is not loving and trusting him enough.

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