Fear Not

by Jerry Senn

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul...Are not two sparrows sold for a penny. And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” 
—Matthew 10:28a, 29-31

The command to “fear not” is said to be found 365 times in the sacred Scriptures. If that number is correct it is ironic because it matches the number of days in our year. Needless to say fear is dangerous if improperly perceived.

Fear can paralyze our spirits and distract our hearts as it causes us to hesitate and even fail to function as genuine followers of Jesus. We all remember times in our lives when fear literally took control of our thoughts and behavior. Fear destroys our confidence in our powerful God.

Fear will cause us to trust our own resources or put our trust in someone or something else, other than God.

In Genesis 12:10-20, Abram had Sarai tell Pharaoh a lie about her relationship with him because he feared Pharaoh. He was rebuked by the Egyptian king who sent Abram away in shame. He was willing to endanger both himself and his wife because of a moment of fear.

So, we see why “fear not” is so often found in the Bible. “To…fear is to be psychologically ill…it is, in fact, the consuming illness of our time” (H A Overstreet)—both in society and even among God’s people.

People in all ages of history have fought fears in one way or another, but the only thing that really conquers fear is faith in the Lord: “I will trust, and not be afraid.” —Isaiah 12:2