Jesus knew His disciples would face persecution. He knew they would live under the constant threat of death. He knew that some of them would die horrific deaths because of their faith in Him. He knew what they would face, and He told them, so they wouldn't be surprised. I love that about Him.
God knows everything we will face and nothing takes Him by surprise. Often, He gives us a heads-up about what is coming, so we won't be surprised, either. I love that about Him, too. The "uneasy feeling" of trouble coming? That's not a sixth sense. It's God, preparing us for what's ahead.
He knows about the terrible diagnosis we will hear when the tests come back. He knows about the loved one who goes astray, the husband who leaves, the wife who has an affair, the lost job, the financial crisis. He knows.
What is even more precious to me is that He knows about our fear. He knows that the thought of a trial is often worse than the trial itself. I look back on some of the hardest times of my life. At the beginning, I was scared out of my mind. Looking back now, I see those times as some of the most precious of my life. Why? Because I didn't go it alone. God was with me every step of the way through. My fear was pointless, a wasted exercise in futility.
"Fear not" is angel talk. That's what they always say to us when they come. I wish we could grasp "fear not" and hold on to it. We don't have to be afraid, because we are not going it alone.
Fear not is God-talk, too. "Don't be afraid," Jesus was saying. Even if someone threatens to kill you, even if they do kill you, I've got this, He told his disciples. Being killed is not the worst thing that could happen. Going to hell is the worst thing. Everything else pales in comparison.
It's time we got our fear straight. We are full of so many fears. We fear rejection, failure, loss, disease, pain, suffering, death. We fear, so we live our lives trying to avoid the very thing we fear.
I used to do that. Finally, I got it. When Jesus said "don't be afraid," He meant it. I don't have to be afraid. I can choose something different. I can choose fearlessness.
So I did.
I stopped being afraid.
I'm not perfect at it. I still struggle with it. But mostly, I'm done with it.
Experience has taught me that there is nothing that will ever come my way that God cannot handle. He's got this life of mine. Even when I mess up, He's got it.
I am in expert hands, and you can be, too.
Make a choice. Change your life. Give your fear away to the One who abolishes fear and be done with fear. You will love how knowing without a doubt that God is in control of your life opens up your possibilities. Nothing is too hard for Him, so nothing is too hard for you.
It is life-changing.
Why not be done with fear? How? Give your fear to God and embrace what He gives instead.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
(2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)
* * *God of all power, help me to be done with fear today. Replace my fear with You power, Your love, and a sound mind that comes only from You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.