It seems to me that anytime an Angel appeared in the Bible, their opening words were “Fear not!” In other words seeing an Angel appear before you was definitely scary!
But when you think about it, “fear not” was pretty wise advice for what was to lie ahead. Being brave was often required. When the Angel told Mary to not fear at the sight of his appearance, what lay ahead also gave just cause for worry. Mary could have chosen to let fear rule her. She could have focussed on how people would react or how they would treat her as an unwed pregnant woman. Instead though, she chose to praise God and celebrate.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”
When I was told at the birth of my little chap that he had down syndrome it seemed that fear made its entrance into my maternity room with gusto. Instead of counting all his toes and enjoying his gorgeous newborn self, my thoughts were being driven by fear. Things I never thought of with my other babies were on my mind. Fear was dominating. Fear of how he would be treated, fear of the future, of the unknown.
But it says in 1 John 4:18 that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Indeed love for my little chap quickly dispelled the fears. His smile, his cuddles and his joy in life keeps me grounded. But more importantly, an awareness of God’s love for me and most certainly His love for my boy sent fear packing. For God’s love is perfect and fear cannot exist in the presence of God. God does not want us to live a life constrained and burdened by fear. He calls us to an abundant life.
Indeed, Fear not!
Whatever we are facing, whatever road lies ahead for us we need not fear.
“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 41:10)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)