So what is it that you really fear? What keeps you anxious and worried? What keeps you up at night? Someone has said that there are 366 “Fear nots” or “Do not be afraids” in the Bible. They have said that is one-a-day with an extra for leap year. I have not counted them. But I do know that they are scattered throughout the scripture.
In Matthew 1, Joseph discovers that his fiance is pregnant, and he knows the child is not his. Imagine the sudden turn from joy to discouragement. How could she betray him this way? Who could the father be? How will he endure the public shame? And while he was considering what to do, an angel appeared to him in a dream. And guess what the message was. Do not be afraid.
Someone has said that “Fear” can be understood with the acrostic: False Evidence Appearing Real. Joseph’s fears were based on what it looked like. It looked like Mary had been unfaithful. But the truth was she had been favored of God, and a miracle had occurred. The Holy Spirit had miraculously caused a child to be conceived in Mary’s womb. It was to be the promised Messiah. “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”
Joseph is an amazing man. He acts in faith. Fear and Faith are opposites. We tend to think of the opposite of faith as being unbelief, and the opposite of fear as being courage. But the truth is, in the way God has designed us, Fear and faith are opposites. It comes down to what you believe about what God is doing. Can you know that God is for you, that He is always working for your ultimate good, even when circumstnaces seem the opposite. Joseph believed the word that came from God. He acted in faith, not fear.
What are you afraid of? This morning, read Romans 8:31-39. Let those words sink in to your heart. God is for you.