In this Christmas season, we hear the words “Fear Not” a lot.  It’s what the angels said to the shepherds at the time of Jesus’s birth. It’s also discussed in Chapter 5 of the book, God the Father Revealed:

Genesis 15 opens with God stating one of the most profound and important statements that we will ever hear: “Fear not.” These two words have been told to numerous people throughout the Bible. “Fear not.” Translated today, that would read as “Do not be afraid.”

God or His angels have been recorded in the Bible speaking the words, “Fear not,” “Do not fear,” “Be not afraid” or “Do not be afraid” to Abram, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, Gideon, Elijah, Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem, women at the empty tomb, the Apostle Paul, and finally the disciple John. This list doesn’t include the many times Jesus told people not to fear in the four gospels.

Why do you think God has felt the need to tell so many people not to fear? Because we can fear just about anything. We can fear death, disease, unemployment, bankruptcy, famine, war, ghosts, climate change, stock market crashes, mistreatment by others, people in the house or apartment living next to you, the government, and on and on. We can even fear things that don’t exist but are just in our imaginations or in the movies, like zombies, for example. There is even a fear of missing out, often referred to as “FOMO,” which is not taking advantage of something that we should benefit from. You name it. If left to ourselves, we will come up with plenty of things to fear.

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Let’s go back to the first part of Genesis 15 again where God told Abram “Fear not.” God didn’t remove all the things from Abram’s life that may have caused Abram to fear. The strange people that he lived around still surrounded him. Sarai was still beautiful, and men would want her for their own at the risk of Abram’s life (this happens again in Genesis 20). For Abram to “fear not,” he had to decide to believe God despite the things around him. And if we want to believe God, we may have to believe God in spite of some scary things around us. Contrary to popular belief, whether or not we will believe God has a lot less to do with the external things that are around us and much more to do with what is in our head and what is in our heart.

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