WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME GOD TOLD YOU NOT TO BE AFRAID?

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“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul.’” (Acts 27:23-24a NIV)

Every day God says, “Do not be afraid.”

Paul is on his fourth mission trip.  This trip leads him to Rome.  Paul’s journey is not a planned one.  His journey includes a shipwreck, 2 year imprisonment and house arrest.  He shares the good news of Jesus everywhere he goes to whoever he is with at the time.  God tells him at the beginning of his trip, “Do not be afraid” (vs. 24).  

God’s most repeated command: “Do not be afraid.”

The most repeated command in the Bible is “Do Not Be Afraid.”   The words appear over 70 times in the NIV.  Typically, the next thing God does is act:

  • “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Exodus 14:13)
  • “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:22)
  • “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” (Joshua 10:8)
  • “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

Any of the above verses will help you overcome your fears.  Fear is what stops us from doing God’s will.  Right now, the world is facing COVID.  Fear is ruling people’s lives.  But that is not how God wants us to live.  He didn’t give us spirits of timidity.  He doesn’t want us to live fearfully.  He wants us to live boldly.

Paul lived his life boldly.   In today’s scripture he’s addressing a crew of hungry sailors. He’s telling them of the impending shipwreck.  He is not afraid, neither for himself nor them.  He trusts God completely.

If we don’t overcome our fears, we won’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.  

Elizabeth Elliot’s husband Jim was a missionary in Ecuador who was killed by the natives when he attempted to make contact with them.  After her husband’s death, she went to Ecuador with their 3 year old daughter, Valerie.   They lived with the tribe who murdered her husband for 2 years, bringing Christ to them.  Elizabeth Elliot believed God’s command.  She did not fear.  She fulfilled God’s purpose for her life.

Fear is a daily battle for all of us.  But God’s word is clear, we’re not to be afraid.  Don’t let fear stop you from taking the next step of your journey.  Trust God.  Trust His word.  Go boldly wherever He takes you.  Share His love with everyone you meet.

Question of the Day:

What fear is stopping you from taking the next step in your journey?

Further Reading: 1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14 NIV, Acts 27:21-44 NIV, Psalm 8 NIV, Proverbs 18:23-24 NIV

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