Finding assurance to fear not

Published 10:39 am Friday, February 24, 2023

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By April J. Buchanan | Religion Columnist

We have likely heard often of how Scripture tells us to “fear not” or “be of good courage.” These are good and true claims of Scripture, but if not placed in their proper context, they can be but a burdensome command.

If we look to Scripture to see what it says about these statements, we will also see the reason. These verses turn attention from fear to the Lord.

The study of these passages is of great benefit. In them, we find that the fears that seem so insurmountable to us, are revealing where we have turned our eyes off our Lord and of who He is.

Let it not be confused as if my writing is to claim that if we just have more faith, then whatever we perceive as a giant or a mountain in our life it will be moved or we will slay it. Neither am I writing to lead any to believe that because we fix our eyes rightly on the Lord that means that we will not face hardships and sufferings of many kinds.

What I desire is to encourage us why we should not fear though we are prone to do so.

I think it benefits us to understand that we not approach Scripture narcissistically, as so much man-centered teaching leads us to, thinking highly of ourselves as if to boast that God is with me because of my great worth and because of who I am. In these passages, we see our own weaknesses, and our tendency to be given to and led astray by fear.

When we read Scripture, not through a lens of self, but to learn more about God, then the more we learn about who He is, the more our fears are mitigated in light of the knowledge of His holiness, His sovereignty, His goodness and because of who He is.

We cannot just say, “fear not” and poof the fears are gone by a simple command. We cannot command people not to fear because God said so and is with them without also expounding upon who God is. It’s in knowing Him, that we understand He is greater than all our fears and we are moved to worship.

The truth of who He is cannot be missing from the message of “fear not” or else it’s a command that offers no real assurance and lays upon Gods people burdens rather than reverence and assurance as we not only hear God is with us, but we understand who He is.

This assurance is for those who belong to God in Christ Jesus. Many call upon Jesus in times of distress but not in repentance and faith. If you call on Him only to deliver you from troubles and hell but not to deliver you from sin, then you will have neither. Repent and be saved.