Are you aware that the phrase “do not be afraid” in some form appears in the Bible approximately 344 times? In the majority of those times, it is recorded as spoken by God to the people He loves. Surely God understands the condition of the human heart and its propensity to give in to fear. It seems He knew that we would deal with fear throughout our lives and so He continually reassured us to not be afraid.
This Christmas season, I am attracted to how many times He spoke this phrase around the birth of His Son, Jesus. To Joseph, Mary’s soon to be husband, He said to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife because what is conceived in her is from God. To Mary, an angel spoke that she was not to be afraid, she had found favor with God and would bear a Son. To the shepherds, God through the angels said to not be afraid, for they were bringing good news: a Savior was born for all people.
All the way to the last book of the Bible where God states that we were not to be afraid for He is the First and the Last.
Did you know that the opposite of fear is love? Elsewhere the Scriptures reveal that perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). Why or how? Because there is no fear in love. God’s love has come to us this Christmas in the form of His Son. Just like the message to Joseph, to Mary and to the shepherds, fear not! God’s love for you and for me removes all fear.
Have a very blessed and love-filled Christmas!