I’ve heard it said that the Bible reminds us 365 times not to fear – once for every day of the year. It turns out that’s not exactly true, but the point still stands. Scripture does indeed repeatedly exhort us, “Do not fear!”
That’s all well and good, but how are we supposed to defeat fear, exactly? I mean, if I’m honest, I’ve been fearful about all sorts of things in my life. What if I don’t have enough money to feed my family this month? What if I’m not capable of meeting everyone’s expectations? What if a friend or my partner chooses to reject me? What if God won’t forgive me for my past?
When I feel fear beginning to take hold in me, my first instinct is to "dig deep" in an effort to find some sort of inner courage. In our culture, we’re bombarded with seemingly positive and encouraging messages about how we’re stronger than we think we are. “If you can just tap into your inner strength,” the world says, “you’re fully capable of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and powering through anything you might face.”
Sounds nice, right? Too bad it’s not true.
Most of us can probably recall a time where we tried tapping into that “inner courage” and came up empty. Found wanting. Rock bottom. The task or situation before you looked as daunting as ever. Where do we turn then?
The answer can be found in this week’s KLRC Words of Hope from Jeremiah 32:17. “O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!”
Scripture doesn’t command us, “Do not fear!” because we’re capable of overcoming it on our own. We’re told not to fear because God is capable of overcoming anything. We must simply have faith and trust that the words of Jeremiah are true. That faith and trust can be developed by drawing near to God and walking with Him each and every day.