It’s interesting what the Bible says about fear. I had never thought too much about it until my pastor brought it to my attention. One [Sun]day I was sitting in church listening to the sermon. Halfway through the sermon, my pastor said something very interesting. He said, “do you know what the most frequent command in the Bible is?”. He paused for a moment allowing us time to think about it.
Surely the most frequent command is something like do not sin, do not steal, do not kill others, or something else along those lines. Or maybe it is that we should love others and treat others the way we wanted to be treated. It turns out, it wasn’t any of those. While it’s true these are commandments from God, none of them is the most frequent command in the Bible.
5 Surprising Things the Bible Says About Fear
1. “Do Not Be Afraid” is the Most Frequent Command in the Bible
Instead the most frequent command in the Bible is “do not be afraid”.
The Bible actually tells us to not be afraid 70 times in the NIV! And that’s not even including similar commands such as “fear not” and “do not fear”.
I mean, seriously, this is very intriguing. If you have lived at all, you know there are A LOT of things we have to fear in this world. Things happen all the time that are completely outside of our control. You have plane crashes, diseases, natural disasters, unstable economics, I could go on and on. There’s a lot of things that give people plenty of reason to be afraid of in this life.
And yet, God actually repeatedly commands us to not be afraid.
2. We Need to Be Reminded Again and Again
The fact that “do not be afraid” is repeated again and again tells me that we as humans heavily battle fear. We are constantly controlled and at odds with this “thing” known as fear. God is aware of this, which is why He is constantly encouraging us that we have nothing to fear and that He will be with us. Which brings me to my next point.
3. God Promises to Help us from Our Fears
What’s beautiful about this command is God doesn’t just say, “do not be afraid” and then end of sentence. Oh no. Instead, God typically finishes this command with what He will do for us. There’s usually some sort of way God plans on providing or comforting us from, or during, our fears.
- Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- Isaiah 35:4, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
- Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
For more examples, read 25 Bible Verses About Fear
4. “Do Not Be Afraid” is Not a Suggestion, it’s a Command
We should really examine the way God is telling us to not be afraid. It’s not like He’s saying it in a sweet, comforting way. God is not like, “there, there my sweet child, it’ll be okay, don’t be afraid.” Instead, God is actually quite forcefully telling us do not be afraid. Be strong. Be courageous.
It’s almost like God wants us to stand tall and firm and recognize who we are. We are a child of God. God isn’t simply trying to make us feel good. Instead we need to know and understand the truth that we truly have nothing to fear as children of God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind”. The fear that we feel is not of God and therefore does not have a place in our lives.
5. “Do Not Be Afraid” is Often Followed by “Do Not be Discouraged”
Ten times throughout the Bible “do not be afraid” is immediately followed by “do not be discouraged”.
- Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and be courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- 1 Chronicles 28:20, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.”
- 2 Chronicles 20:15, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Now let’s think about this for a second, what happens when we are discouraged? We begin to doubt, and then we begin to fear. For example, we become discouraged that we won’t make enough money. We begin to doubt whether God will provide for us. Then we begin to fear what will happen to us and our family. Don’t fall victim to this downward spiral. Instead, God commands us to not be discouraged.
What happens when we aren’t discouraged? We are encouraged. When we are encouraged we have hope, trust, and faith that with God all things are possible!
This is where God wants us to be. He doesn’t want us to be discouraged, but instead to be encouraged. This is why God repeatedly commands us “do not be afraid”. God wants you to know that you truly have nothing to fear, for God is with you wherever you go!
Did you know what the Bible says about fear? Love to know in the comments below!
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