To Fear or Not Fear

  By Bob Brubaker  |  

Over fifty times in the Bible you can find the combination of words “fear not” which says that in our natural state we are given to much fear. The present time can be labeled as a time of great fear. People are afraid to go out of their houses for fear of the virus. They are afraid of wide-spread riot and stay in their houses. Others fear financial ruin from the downward trend in the economy from all the above. So, what can a person do amid so many fears?

Revelation 1:17–18 (ESV) — 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

The apostle John was banished to the island called Patmos to die because of his testimony of the risen Savior Jesus Christ along with his labors in the Gospel. Things in John’s life looked rather bleak on the surface.  Nevertheless, in the midst of his affliction we are told that he was “in the spirit” on the Lord’s Day which indicates he was worshipping even though he was providentially hindered from corporate worship. Just imagine the directory of fears that could have been going through John’s mind. Nevertheless, John worshipped and what happened? A fresh view of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Revelation 1:10–16 (ESV) — 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

Her i’s some application from this scene in order to “fear not” rather than succumb to our fears:

  1. We need corporate worship. Amid John’s suffering, he was so intent about worshipping on the Lord’s Day that he focused on that rather than his situation.
  2. We need our minds renewed about the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too many times He is presented as the “lowly Jesus” and although He performed miracles most people lose sight or have never been taught that the same Jesus who died on the cross is risen from the dead and exalted to King, therefore reigns today. Hence the message of the book of Revelation is a comfort to God’s suffering people to know that their King is in complete control and will not only see His people through the sufferings of this life but will bring an end to all the evil and sorrow in the world.
  3. We need to receive the words from the Lord Jesus Christ that He is in control and has everything under His authority even now.

Why should we fear?

2 Timothy 1:7–10 (ESV) — 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

God does not call us to a life of fear, far from it. He has marked us out before time began, and He sent His son to save us from our sins and He did it. That is marked by His resurrection and the power that is in the Gospel and it calms the fear in our hearts about sin, death, or even the devil of which Christ has conquered all.

Hebrews 2:14–15 (ESV) — 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

What do we need to fear? Certainly not death or those who can kill the body!

Romans 8:35–39 (ESV) — 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What is the basis of your fear? It is really the fact that there is much in life over which we do not have control, so we get anxious. Anxiety or worry creates a downward spiral of our thoughts as we take our focus off the greatness and power of God and center our attention on what is wrong which only gets worse as we descend the downward spiral to the drain called depression. Wait a minute. God has given us a prescription for such occasion.

Philippians 4:6–7 (ESV) — 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When you feel worry coming on like a train out of control heading toward the destination of fear, hit the stop button and get off the train and spend as much time in prayer and meditation on God’s greatness, power, and promises as it takes to get your mind reset. Just as the text above says, God promises peace that surpasses all understanding that will guard your heart and your mind as it is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just as John needed the reminder amid persecution, so we need this reminder amid the overabundance of bad news on every hand. It’s time to remember who is in control – the one who has all authority – the one who won your victory over sin, Satan, and death itself – the one who was for you before you knew it and the one who will never give up on you.

Romans 8:31 (ESV) — 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

So why be given to fear since God is for you?


Bob Brubaker

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