These days, with regards to the festivities of 31 October, I can’t think of anything that truly frightens me. Sure, it’s easy to spook somebody when they are least expecting it, but often it’s quickly followed by a chortle from the prankster, and it’s receiver. That is to say; it’s all in good fun.
But let’s not fool ourselves. For many of us, fear silently grips us in many ways. We may think it shapeless, and indefinable for it often comes from intangibles such as utter loneliness, unattained ambitions, unknowable failures, uncertain futures, assured disappointments, and many more. On the surface, it often remains hidden, kept at bay for but a moment, but below, as our minds stray, it swarm us, sending our thoughts into continuous unobliging scurries.
With our troubles, it’s easy to forget, but let us be reminded that God continually calls us not to be afraid. Throughout scripture, God tells his people over and over the same things. Fear not, because I am with you. Fear not, because I am your God. Fear not, because I will strengthen you. Fear not, because I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10) Fear not, because I will support you and hold you up by my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:13)
These five promises of God need to first come without first knowing who God is. John Piper refers to Isaiah 41 to define the glimpses of God. He says God is the one, “Who judges all the earth and calls the coastlands to give account. God is the one who rules the rulers of history and calls the nations of the earth into being. He is the uncreated first and last. He chose us before the foundation of the world. He called us out of darkness and death. And he took us for himself to be his, to make himself our God.”
These are not empty promises left to hang in the air. Instead, we should first seek the Lord when fear darkens our spirits, for God is our light and salvation, our everlasting stronghold. The I AM who judges the earth, stands by your side. The LORD who rules all has chosen you will lift you high upon a rock and will uphold you from underneath. The God who conceals you under the cover of his tent reigns over you and the shadow of his wings will shield and protect you. Therefore, my friends, do not be afraid.