“And the angel answered
and said unto the women, Fear not ye:
for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said…”
“Fear not.” These words suddenly popped into my head today as I was driving down the street. Nothing scary was happening at the moment. It was a sunny day. The road was clear. There was no impending threat. As I wasn’t feeling particularly fearful, the message felt like general admonition for my life right now. And a reminder of how far God has brought me.
Today I sometimes forget how debilitating fear used to be in my life, how many prayers I prayed for God to deliver me from FEAR. I still fight fear and worry, but it does not rule my life the way it used to. Thank God! However, there are times when it rears its ugly head.
Right now I am being presented with certain opportunities for ministry that are pushing me out of my comfort zone yet again. (God does this to us, because He loves us. :)) I'm sure you have run into these situations and the associated questions and fears:
- Can I really teach that class? I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep everyone’s attention.
- Can I really write that curriculum? I’m afraid it will be disliked, boring, ineffective, terrible, ______________ (may fill in the blank with other negative adjectives and then project them onto oneself).
- Can I really accept this opportunity? I’m afraid I will fail, miserably.
What we need to combat fear is LOVE, PERFECT LOVE:
“There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
1 John 4:18
Perfect love comes only through Jesus Christ. We have to trust that He loves us perfectly and will take care of us in any situation. We have to trust that He is doing great things in our lives, even though these things may involve challenges that push us to the edge of fear.
As I was thinking about all this, I realized several of the “fear not's” in the Bible involve angels reassuring startled people: Zacharias, Joseph, Mary, shepherds, the women at the tomb. Seeing an angel is obviously terrifying! (I can assure you that as a child I hoped I would NEVER see one.) Though their appearance startled and frightened people, they brought amazing messages directly from God. These messages were accompanied by challenges the hearer would have to face, situations that might lead to fear. All of this led the angels to say right away, “Fear not!”
God understands we are prone to fear. He wants to reassure us that the great things He has called us to do will not
be without challenge, but we do not need to fear. He loves us and is with us.
Think About It
- What have I been afraid to do that God is calling me to do anyway?
- Would God ask me to do something and then not walk with me through it?
- What can I do to overcome my fears? Pray more? Believe more completely in God’s love for me?
- Are there children in my class who are fearful? What can I do to assure them of God’s love and care in their lives? How can I help them overcome their fears so they can be all God wants them to be?
You might want to search your Bible for all the "fear not's" and pass along the encouraging things you learn to your students. Such as Isaiah 41:13:
"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand,
saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."