2012 – Do Not Be Afraid

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Josh 1:9

As I touched on in my last blog, the thinking of the day resounds with panic and dread for 2012. We are told many times in the Bible not to fear. You can imagine how some of the people in bible times would have reacted to angels appearing suddenly before them. In Luke is one story… “Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid…”  Luke 1:11-13.

Then there was that encounter we all have heard many times… “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.” Luke 2:8-10

The thing to ponder is angels never came with their own messages but words straight from the throne room, from God. In the first scripture about Zechariah, he had trouble believing what he was told and didn’t trust the messenger so the angel spoke to him about his attitude …”The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

So we see in these verses that not only did the angels bearing messages come from the throne room of God with His express words and instructions, they also had the right to impart punishment for disbelief. This tells me that when God tells us not to fear He means it and wants us to obey.

There are so many verses telling us not to fear but these are some of my favorites.  The first one fits the fears of today very well as though written only yesterday

“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
Isaiah 8:11-13

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 41:9-11

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:12-14

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:14-16

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
1 Peter 3:13-15

So we as believers in Christ should not fear as the world fears, we can rest in the commands we see in Luke, “Fear not.” It is a matter of obedience too, because God expects us to trust Him completely and if we do then there is no need for fear or panic or dread of anything.

I learned something interesting today from an e-mail sent by a friend. While still thinking about the year 2012 it seems the number twelve is significant. Twelve is the number of the disciples, number of Tribes of Israel; it is a number that speaks of His glory going forth in the earth to perform His covenant, through flawed people in spite of hopeless circumstances. So even if the circumstances that face us in 2012 seem hopeless with our Lord and Saviour before us nothing is hopeless or impossible with God. We are called to be light in darkness so if the days grow darker our light from God will grow brighter, illuminating our way and the way for those who will follow us out of the dark.

We still have a mighty work for God to perform here on earth so take courage and trust God, put your hand in His and Fear Not! Let’s make 2012 a year of triumph and glory for God and His people, not failure and dread as the enemy would have it.

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