Be Not Afraid

“Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

Can you hear that song in your head?  Of course, it’s from an old Disney cartoon — the three little pigs are arrogantly singing about how brave they are until the Big Bad Wolf actually shows up at their door. Yikes!

Do you have a big bad wolf in your world?  In your house?  Maybe sleeping in your bed?  Are you afraid?  How do you cope with that fear?

God speaks to us in Scripture and says, “Don’t be afraid.”  They say there is a “Fear not” for every single day of the year, at least 365 times our loving Father tells us not to be afraid.  He knows we have wolves and dark shadows.  Our Father knows that life can throw us curve balls and sometimes we get hit in the head with them.  God knows that we are like sheep running scared through the pasture, harassed and helpless, maybe running away from a wolf.

Even people in the ancient Christmas story needed to be told “It’s okay, don’t be afraid.” There was old Zechariah doing his service in the temple next to the alter and an angel appeared to announce to him that he was going to be a daddy (Luke 1:13).  Remember Joseph who had an angel come to him in a dream to tell him not to be afraid of taking Mary to be his wife? (Matthew 1:20)  Mary herself was told by the angel Gabriel, “Do not be afraid for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30) The shepherds in the field were told not to be afraid when they were suddenly surprised by the multitude of angels announcing the Savior’s birth (Luke 2:10).

The big burly fishermen who were disciples of Jesus were so frightened when they saw Him walking on the water. (John 6:20)  With so much kindness and love He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”

The women at the tomb on Resurrection morning were alarmed to find angels instead of Jesus.  The angels told them to not be afraid but to go and tell the other disciples that He was risen from the grave.  And then even as they were running to tell the disciples on that beautiful morning, full of great joy, lo and behold, Jesus Himself met them and told them not to be afraid! (Matthew 28:5-10)

Are you getting the message?

As we begin this new year of the Lord 2022, what are you afraid of?

The sickness and fear of covid rages on.  The U.S. and world economies seem as unstable as shifting sand, and the supply chains are a mess.  We hear of wars and rumors of wars.  Weather is weirder than ever.  All this and not to even mention the Big Bad Wolf…

Gentle reader, hear the words of Jesus and the angels:  Don’t be afraid.  It will be okay.  These are strange times, even scary times, but if our Father is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)  Even as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will not fear for He is with us. (Psalm 23:4)  God loves us.  He is with us.  Immanuel, remember?

May the Lord bless you and keep you as you walk with Him today and tomorrow and into the new year.

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