Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, esv).
We can all relate to experiencing fear in one form or another. It’s a primal emotion, instinctive to our human nature, just like grief or anger. You don’t ever coach yourself, “I think I need to feel afraid.” You don’t have to plan it—fear just happens.
We fear losing people. Will my husband always love me? Will this treasured friendship last? Will my kids walk with the Lord or go their own way?
We fear losing possessions. I’m barely able to make ends meet—will I be able to keep my house? Will I have enough for groceries this week? Will I be able to help my kids pay for college?
We fear physical pain. How will I endure this chronic pain? What if I never heal?
We fear emotional pain. My friend has pulled away. My kids don’t care. My spouse is drifting away. I’m not happy with myself.
We fear failure. I could have, I should have, I would have, I didn’t, I’m not, I failed.
Fear contradicts faith. While fear says, “If this happens, I won’t be okay,” faith says, “Come what may, I’ll be okay because of God.”
The Lord seldom seems further away than when your heart is filled with fear. When you rely completely on your own resources, then realize they aren’t nearly enough to sustain you, fear can flood your heart.
But fear has no place in the life of a Christian. A fearful, anxious response is never from God. Romans 8:15 reminds us, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear.” Out with fear and in with faith.
How? The antidote for fear is the promise of God’s presence. God is with you. “He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5–6) Let the calm, strong assurance of this precious promise settle into your soul: God is always with you; therefore, you have nothing to fear.
This promise has sustained Christians through the ages. Even on his deathbed, John Wesley, the famous revivalist preacher, clung to God’s presence. The loved ones surrounding Wesley as he left this life attested that he articulated what was most precious to him: “The best of all is, God is with us.” Raising his arms in victory, these were Wesley’s final words, welling up from the deepest part of his soul. He experienced the fulfillment of God’s promise of His presence: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4).
The One who knows the end from the beginning, who knit you together and is intimately acquainted with all your ways (Psalm 139:3,13), has made some promises. When fear creeps in, cling to this one: God is with you. You have nothing to fear.
Father, when I fear, help me to cling to Your promise that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Help me to speak and live fearlessly because You are with me. I am never alone. Your promise stands, spoken over and over again in Your Word and satisfying Your followers throughout thousands of years—You are with me. I commit this truth to my heart right now. May this simple, profound truth sustain me today. In the power of Your name, amen.