Overhearing what was being said, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; only keep on believing [in Me and my power].” (Mark 5:36, AMP)
Do not be afraid. God or angels say this nearly 80 times in Scripture. And it is always accompanied by an instruction or an explanation why:
- God has heard you.
- God has come to test you so you will fear Him and not sin.
- God will fight for you.
- God will not fail you or forsake you.
- God has graciously spared your life.
- God is with you.
- God is your shield.
- God has determined to do good.
- Stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord.
- Serve the Lord with all your heart.
- Be strong and courageous.
- The battle is not yours, but God’s.
- What can mere mortals do to you?
- Listen to what God says.
- You are highly esteemed. Peace. Be strong.
- Be glad and rejoice; the Lord has done great things.
- God knows what you are looking for.
- God gives you peace.
- God is the First and Last.
- God will give you life as your victor’s crown.
- God brings you good news.
- This is from the Holy Spirit.
- There is nothing hidden that will not be made known.
- You have found favor with God.
- Your King is coming.
- Keep on speaking, do not be silent.
- The Lord is your helper.
We become afraid when we forget who God is and how He feels about us. When we believe we are on our own. When we cannot see the way ahead. When we lose sight of the eternal picture and get caught up in the current situation. But God wants us to find far more life by placing our confidence in Him.
If we belong to Christ, we never have reason to fear! We never have to fear people; they have no true power over us. We never have to fear circumstances; they have passed through God’s filter and He has a purpose for allowing them. We never have to fear the past; it does not define or control us. We never have to fear the future; our future is secure in God. Since God is for us and with us, what do we have to fear?
Only keep believing in Me and my power. This is the key to fearless far more life. The better we know Jesus, the less we fear. When we know Him, we believe He is all-powerful. We believe He is good. We believe He loves us. We believe He is all-knowing. We believe He is greater than any bad we encounter. We believe He keeps His promises. We believe we will spend eternity with Him in paradise. We believe the struggles of this life are temporary. We believe we will one day be done with sin, illness, and death because He will defeat them. We believe He is working everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
We are imperfect people and, despite our best efforts, are bound to give in to fear and unbelief sometimes. Jesus knows our weaknesses and limitations. And He meets us wherever we are. I love the story of a man whose son is demon-possessed. He begs Jesus:
“…But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-24, NIV)
Jesus could have easily criticized this man and refused to heal his son, but He does not. It is safe for us to be honest with Jesus, to admit our weakness — even our unbelief. He faithfully reveals Himself to us and meets our need. Which grows our faith and reduces our fear moving forward.
This aspect of far more life is easy to understand, but it can be hard to practice. God knows this and reward us with a special blessing:
…Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. (John 20:29, NIV)
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31, NIV)
To help us believe, God’s Word is filled with examples of His trustworthiness and character. And as we follow Him, we experience it in our lives as well. So we can turn from our fear, confess our unbelief, and pursue a deeper trust relationship with Jesus. We find far more life as we repeatedly choose belief over fear, until the day we see Him face to face and all our fears evaporate in His presence.
What is making you afraid?
Which instruction or explanation brings you comfort, peace, and strength?
Are you facing any barriers to believing in Jesus and His power?
Do you need to confess any unbelief and deepen your trust in Jesus?
Thank Him for far more life and the promise of a fearless future!
Copyright 2020, Shari Damaso
Photo Credit: Jenjoe Marsh