By Irene Frances
I once lived believing that I had no right to exist, let alone live. I felt as though I had to apologise for simply being. I was afraid of being noticed, and certainly of doing anything that would have aggravated my parents.
Fear was paralysing me, leaving me quivering like a pitiful church mouse. That was until God took hold of me and began to release me from all that had contributed to my sorry state.
God had a lifetime of abuse in my life to deal with, all of which had fed a sense of uncertainty and fear into my soul. But He did not set me free in one miraculous moment. Rather, He set me on a journey of rediscovering the person I was meant to be, releasing me of my many fears and setting me free.
Throughout the Bible, God declares a message of freedom from fear to all who put their trust in Him. He knows our frame, our propensity to doubt and fear, and our at times, flimsy faith in Him. For that reason, God declared to those who trust in Him for their salvation: “Fear not!”
To Joshua, God reiterated His promise that He would never leave or forsake him. He urged Joshua to be strong and courageous — to be very courageous — and not to be afraid or discouraged (Joshua 1:5-9).
Isaiah repeatedly urged the children of Israel not to be afraid despite what lay ahead, what they would go through. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:1-2).
These words are for all who love God. In addition, we have the words of the Apostles to further encourage us. Paul, writing to the Roman Christians, said that we no longer have a spirit of fear, but “you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:15).
Peter declared that even when we suffer for doing what is right, not only are we blessed, but we do not have to be fearful or frightened (1 Peter 3:14). And John speaks of how God’s perfect love drives out all fear: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love “ (1 John 4:18).
No matter what is happening around us and in our lives, when we keep our eyes on Jesus, and live closely to Him we need not fear. We can respond victoriously to God’s call: “Fear not!”