You might be wondering why I am talking of ‘fear’ on Christmas Eve, the most joyous occasion in the Christian calendar, but nowadays there is much to be afraid of, even during Christmas. In the last year alone there have been rumours of wars, earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, famines and much more that could make us afraid to turn on our TV sets or click onto the Internet. In fact, the tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004 is considered to have been one of the worst in history, when more than 230000 people were killed in 14 countries.
Being afraid is not just a modern mentality either. God created us and knows all about how we are feeling. In fact, the phrase “Fear Not” (meaning “don’t be afraid”) is used in the intended context more than 80 times throughout the Bible. Today, I want to look at when the phrase “Fear Not” was used in the New Testament before or after Christ’s birth.
Luke used the phrase “Fear Not” on numerous occasions in his gospel. In Luke 1:13 Zacharias is told to “Fear not” because his wife, Elizabeth, is pregnant. “Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” Jesus’ mother, Mary, is told to “Fear not” in Luke 1:30 (KJV) by an angel who tells the virgin she is to bear a son. “And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” Not long after Jesus’ birth in the manger in Bethlehem, the Bible tells us that the shepherds were greatly afraid when an angel appeared to them and said: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2: 10 KJV).
During his life on earth, the Lord often told people not to be afraid, especially when miracles were performed for example when he walked on the water he told his disciples not to be afraid (Matthew 14: 22-33) and he told people not to worry about what they would eat or what they would wear.
The greatest fear we can have is the fear of God and how He will react to our sinful lives on Judgement Day because “the wages of sin are death”. But the birth of Jesus heralded a new era. His death on the cross means we can be put right with God. His blood washes our sins away, just as the lamb’s blood washed the people of Israel’s sins away in the Old Testament. So you see, the birth of Jesus should fill us with great joy because we no longer need to fear God’s judgement and we can live life “abundantly” and with “courage”.
I started this blog mentioning our modern time fears, but in Matthew 24 Jesus tells us not to be alarmed about hearing rumours of wars. He said there would be wars, famines and earthquakes in various places and they will happen before he returns again and “the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:44).
In my life, there have been times when I was filled with great fear but the Lord revealed through verses in his Word that if we trust in him we have nothing to be afraid of because “if God is for us, who can be against us?” He created us and knows that if we let fear take a hold, it breeds more fear and doubt. If you are afraid of where your next penny will come from, you won’t give. If you are afraid of people’s reaction to your actions, you won’t love and if you are afraid of taking risks, you won’t take action to fulfil his will or your dreams.
I pray that this Christmas you may celebrate Jesus’ birth and realise you have nothing to fear if you trust in him.
For verses mentioning “Fear not” see: http://musingsofaministerswife.com/ministry/so-how-many-times-is-fear-not-actually-in-the-bible/
Your can read another article about not having fear at: https://www.christianpost.com/news/faith-over-fear-the-bibles-1-statement-is-dont-be-afraid-129050/