What Are You Afraid Of?

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

What are you afraid of? Everybody is afraid of something whether he or she admits to it or not. Folks, biblical times were no different than today. They had fears just like us. In the times we are living, there are many reasons to be afraid, but we must purposely choose faith over fear.
Let’s look at three scenarios all surrounding the birth of Jesus where people were afraid to do something, but still obeyed God.

Luke 1:26-29 “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.”

It is thought that Mary’s age was between 13-15. Mary barely knew the facts of life let alone be prepared for a visitation from God. What must have been going through her mind when the angel Gabriel appeared and gave her the Good News? But we do know she was afraid, and the angel told her “Don’t be afraid.” She was hand-picked by God to bare His Son. So, even though Mary was afraid she still accepted God’s plan. She could have fled in fear; fear of what people would think, fear of what Joseph would think, fear of what God required of her, fear of the unknown, but she chose to stay in God’s will even with her moment of feeling very afraid.

Matthew 1:19-21“Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”

I love the fact that Joseph ignored his feelings, ignored common sense, ignored how things looked in the natural, and stepped out in faith as he obeyed God. He may have done it afraid, but he did it!

Luke 2:8-10 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’”

And lastly, we have the shepherd in the fields of Bethlehem. Imagine common sheepherders suddenly in the presence of angels…and not just a few but, “A heavenly host.” It scared the daylights out of them, but they obeyed God and went to see the baby Jesus.

Joseph, Mary, and the shepherds were afraid. They were in the presence of the heavenly host and commanded to “fear not.” They had to step out and obey God’s command, submit to His will, trust Him and just do it afraid. And in each case God took away the fear when they obeyed.

There is no reason to be afraid when you are, as the Bible says, “favored of God.” However, just like Joseph, Mary, and the Shepherds, we are human and have fears at times. But, when the hand of God has touched you, He will take your fear away. And when you know that God loves you, He only requires that we show up even if we are afraid and let Him do the rest!
Have a blessed Christmas,

Deb McClellan

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