Jesus commanded us, "Fear not for I am with you." This commandment is given by God throughout the scriptures more than any other. Our Lord knew that it is a basic human instinct to fear for our own safety, wellbeing and concerns. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why Jesus decided to come to earth to demonstrate how He overcame His own human fears. When Jesus wrestled with His fears He turned to the Lord and His disciples for comfort. The Good Shepherd knew that fear is often nothing more than F- FAULTY, E – EXPECTATIONS, A – ASSUMPTIONS, about R- REALITY.
1. Jesus knew that we are all commanded to "Fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth."(Psa. 2:11) The Lord knew that there is a place for a healthy fear and reverence of the Lord to keep us from evil.
2. Jesus knew that there are many benefits in fearing God and keeping His commandments. "Fear the Lord you his saints, for to those who fear Him there is no want." (Psa. 34:9) By focusing our attention on the Lord it minimizes our fear of our surrounding circumstances.
3. Jesus knew that through humility and in the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life. (Prov. 22:4) Jesus chose to concentrate on displaying Godly humility and reverence for God as a means of allowing the Lord to provide all essential ingredients to one’s life and ministry.
4. Jesus knew that we are commanded not to fear men. "The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." (Prov. 29:25) Jesus knew that many people become men pleasers because they fear men more than God. Certain personalities struggle with this temptation more than others
5. Jesus knew that "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life – a secure fortress, turning a man from the snares of death." (Prov. 14:26,27) Jesus looked optimistically to the Lord for energy, provisions, protection, blessings, direction, nutrients, refreshment, strength, love, hope, and peace. When a person finds all that they need in the Lord they have nothing to fear from this world.
6. Jesus knew that women will have no fear for their families if they chose to trust God for all things. (Prov. 31:21) Jesus understood the fears of women as He assured them of the certainty of God’s security.
7. Jesus understood the fear that children have since He had demonstrated courage in going to the temple without His parent’s knowledge. His parents asked Him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." Jesus calmly said, "Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? But His parents did not understand what he was saying to them." (Luke 2:48-52) Jesus was even willing to brave the wrath and misunderstanding of His parents for the Father’s will. Many people fail to complete 100% of the will of God because they fear displeasing their family members.
8. Jesus taught the disciples whom to fear and who not to fear. He said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after than can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell." (Luke 12:4,5) People all have a tendency to think in terms of short term concerns forgetting about long term consequences – not Jesus Christ.
9. Jesus taught all people how they can prepare for adversity, worries, and challenges. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes… It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (Jer. 17:7,8) In the midst of our greatest difficulties, God’s greatness will shine through those who trust and obey the will of God. When the odds are stacked against you, be certain that God has given you a window of great opportunities to work His wonders.
10. Jesus taught principles of dealing with people’s criticisms, complaints and scornings. No doubt Jesus instructed His disciples by saying, "Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool." (Isa. 51:7,8) It takes great courage, resolve and determination to not let yourself be discouraged by people’s verbal abuses. The Lord Jesus developed a thick skin of faith to deflect all the flaming darts of the opposition. (Eph. 6:16)
11. Jesus knew that all people would have to endure fears from within and without. Paul said, "When we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn – conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…. So that my joy was greater than ever." (2 Cor. 7:5-7) Just when things appear like they are about to crumble, the Lord delivers us and inspires us with a greater measure of His goodness, love, and strength.