I am by nature something of a worrywart, almost constantly preoccupied with one worry or another.
I am also a multitasker. I can do just about anything and worry at the same time. For example, this morning I was trying to take my daily quiet time, reading a few pages of devotional material and reflecting on it (I say “trying,” because at the same time I was worrying about the week’s work ahead of me, ongoing health problems, and an upcoming trip) when this sentence jumped off of the page: “In the Bible, the admonition to ‘fear not’ is used more than 100 times.” I guess God knew our inclination to worry and fear.
As kids we are afraid of the dark, the boogeyman under the bed, and the dentist.
A few years later we learn that the boogeyman doesn’t exist and the dentist knows what he’s doing, so then we’re afraid of bullies at school, being embarrassed in front of our friends, and making a poor grade on the Tuesday math quiz.
A few more years later and we’re afraid of pimples and braces and not being popular enough.
Soon enough we fear that first job and worry about the future and what we’ll become. We fear failing academically and failing in relationships. We fear disappointing family and friends. We fear economic failure, we fear for our children’s happiness and well-being, and we fear sickness and death.
We outgrow fears, but we never seem to outgrow fearing.
It also doesn’t help that these days there seems to be more and more to be afraid of. Just read or watch the news and you’ll see what I’m talking about—war, crime, terrorism, new strains of deadly diseases, natural and manmade disasters, and of course the state of the world economy and the ramifications that brings with it.
In the Bible, God has an answer for each of those fears:
“Trouble at work? Nasty coworkers threatening to cause trouble for you? Don’t worry! Put your will on My side and I’ll take care of the problem!”1
“Worried about war and terrorism? Don’t fear! Entrust your life and your family to Me, and I’ll take care of you.”2
“Afraid of natural disasters? Worried about earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes? Don’t be! I’ve got you covered. That’s the best insurance policy you could ask for!”3
“Are you suffering physically—perhaps even battling a life-threatening sickness? Don’t be afraid. I will be with you through it all, to comfort you and hold your hand.”4
“Have you been wrongly accused and therefore worry about saving your reputation and future? Don’t worry. I know the truth, and I’ll make sure it comes out in the end.”5
“It can be a scary world out there! Maybe you live in a dangerous area and that worries you sometimes. Don’t be afraid. If I take care of the birds and the flowers, what makes you think I won’t take care of you?”6
“I see you’ve been worried about how to provide for your family. It’s been difficult to make ends meet, and the bills are piling up. Don’t be afraid. The world and all that is in it are Mine, and it is My pleasure to meet your needs. Just ask.”7
As I thought about it more, I realized that God has a contingency plan for every possible calamity. For every worry, He has a solution at His fingertips. What’s more, it’s His pleasure to take care of us! He doesn’t consider us an annoyance when we come to Him with our fears and worries. Rather, like the loving Father He is, He picks us up and gently says, “I understand. Why don’t you leave that fear with Me, and let Me handle it for you?”8
“God has not given us a spirit of fear,” the apostle Paul wrote, “but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”9
God does not remove us from all harm; He uses harm to move us close to Him.—Dillon Burroughs (b. 1976)
We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power, and strength.—Charles Stanley (b. 1932)
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.—Thomas Merton (1915–1968)
The remedy for discouragement is the Word of God. When you feed your heart and mind with its truth, you regain your perspective and find renewed strength.—Warren Wiersbe (1929–2019)
1. Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
2. Isaiah 54:14: In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
3. Psalm 46:2: Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
4. Psalm 23:4: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5. Isaiah 51:7: Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law: do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults.
6. Luke 12:7: But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
7. Luke 12:32: Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
8. 1 Peter 5:7: Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
9. 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.