Tonight we attended our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service. We sang Christmas songs, heard the Christmas Story read from the Bible, heard a devotion from our Pastor and enjoyed worshiping God for the birth of His Son.
Now look; having grown up in a Pastor’s home, I have read, heard, watched, etc the “Christmas Story” thousands of time … if you want I can read it/tell it to you upside down, right side up, from the left, from the right, etc. Suffice it to say … I KNOW the Christmas Story.
When Matthew 1:20 was read, the phrase “do not fear” struck a chord and a thought arose in my mind … as God always does no matter how many times His Word is read. I always hear something new I hadn’t thought of before.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Now, I searched how many times this phrase, or type of phrase, occurs in the Bible. I got a plethora of answers. However, I can safely say, it occurs around a 100 times throughout scripture.
I can’t tell you about every single mention of that phrase in God’s Word and what it means. However, I can tell you what struck me tonight about the four passages above.
Everyone time, the Angel said “Do not be afraid” something big was getting ready to happen. Some event was going to take place. There was going to be a chance that the person receiving the message could be afraid. I couldn’t help but think of my own life over the last 4 years:
- Heart valve replacement at age 49
- Emergency diaphragmatic hernia surgery at age 51
- Diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Cancer at age 51
When I think of my health, what the future might or might not bring, I can hear His Angel say: “Do Not be Afraid.”
Then I thought of other challenges in life:
- Financial challenges
- Marital challenges
- Child challenges
- Parental challenges
- Career challenges
- I didn’t list yours? Then fill in the blank with what yours might be …
- __________________ challenges
When you think of those challenges, what the future might or might not bring, listen to His Angel say: “Do Not Be Afraid.”
10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I don’t know where you are in your life currently. I don’t know what fear or fears you may be facing. I don’t know what unknowns you are struggling with at this moment. I don’t know what challenges and adversity you are going through right now.
However; I CAN tell you this … God, Jesus, His Angel, God’s Word all say … DO NOT BE AFRAID. God is in control. God will carry us through. God will provide. God will heal relationships. God will provide finances, careers, etc. God WILL keep us from being afraid.
We must simply trust him and “Do Not Be Afraid” …