A Life Without Fear

In exploring and studying Scripture, we find it is full of commands, guidelines, and words of wisdom.  However, the most common of these commands is: “Do not be afraid.”

It’s fantastic to realize this phrase occurs 365 different times throughout the Word of God, yet it can be difficult to understand how to “not be afraid.”

When we find ourselves suddenly full of fear or anxiety, it’s tough to get close to those around us because we typically back off and go to our corner or put-up walls of protection. We’re so afraid of rejection, manipulation, vulnerability, or being hurt, that we become disconnected in these moments of life.

One of the first instances we find in the Bible of someone being afraid occurs when Adam told God, “I was afraid…so I hid.” (Genesis 3:10 NIV). People have been fearful and hiding from God and others ever since.

 

We also try and hide our sins and our true selves during the journey of life. It’s plausible that we don’t even know what we’re really like because if we show ourselves to others and they don’t like us, we will face rejection. So, we pretend.

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he says:

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline”. — 2 Tim 1:7 (NIV)

Fear creates defensiveness, keeps us at a distance from others, and often makes us demanding of those around us.

The first words spoken by the angel of the Lord to those who showed up at the tomb on Easter morning were, “Do not be afraid.”  They were also the first words that Jesus spoke following His resurrection.

Fear itself is humanity’s most common problem and is likewise probably the most common problem among each of us ophthalmic surgeons, our staff, and particularly our patients. Every one of us has been frightened and fearful at various times along the way.

 

Now we may be great at hiding our fearfulness from others to the point where it’s unrecognizable, except by those who know us well. Yet, we know it well.

If we think about it carefully, we often make decisions based on fear. Our fear can be as simple as being afraid of what other people are thinking of us or can arise out of a senseless fear of failure.

One of the many wonderful aspects of Easter, is the great news that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can now live without fear. Scripture says,

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again”. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)

So, when we live a life according to the resurrection of Christ, the Bible says we are living a better life. A life free from fear!

We must continually remind ourselves to release all fears and give them to God. For me, this happens best when I’m in the Word and conversational with God throughout my day.  There are several truths found in contemplating the resurrection that sets each of us free from fear if we understand them. 

First, we know Jesus tells us the truth. Throughout history many have claimed to be God, and this happens even today. However, only one has ever proved this to be the case throughout all time, and that’s Jesus Christ. Romans 1:4 says, “Jesus was declared to be God’s Son with great power by rising from the dead”.

Without the resurrection, we couldn’t trust anything Jesus told us. But we can trust what Jesus says about God, about heaven, and everything else he taught us because he rose from the dead like he said he would.

Once we understand that Jesus has told us the truth, and that we can trust whatever he has said, it becomes easier to let go of our own set of fears.

Secondly, we know that death is not the end. Until Jesus rose from the dead, we did not know if there was life after death, because there was no proof. Jesus changed that for each of us. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4, 

God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, and we know that God will also raise us with Jesus”. — 2 Corinthians 4:14

We no longer need to fear death, because the resurrection of Jesus shows each of us that death is not the end of the story. Instead, death is the beginning of our eternal life in the presence of God.

Learning to live without fear will transform each of our lives once we let go of it and give it to God. It can also lead us to becoming who we are meant to be…“Do not be afraid.”

 

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