Beacon Deacon Home
The Beacon Deacon Web Site

Celebrating 25 years online! 1996-2021


Jamie Johnson
5 December 2023

Do Not Be Afraid

Being a follower of Jesus Christ is not a guarantee for an easy life. Jesus said in John 16:33 that we would have trouble, but He offers hope. I write to those who are in Christ, but are facing trial, even discouragement. We all have a story. We all have hurts, even regrets. We all have tough seasons. Proverbs 14:13 (NIV) makes a general observation:

Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and rejoicing may end in grief.

Despairing isn't it? Yet, the truth of scripture offers comfort. Consider Psalm 34:18 (NIV):

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

However, we are still afraid at times. It's hard to trust God's plan when we don't trust Him. Each year, our family offers Jesus a gift for Christmas. One of mine last year was surrender. And that would be going into what would be a trying year.

Recently, I had a series of quiet times and the excerpts from various verses I studied each day seemed to convey a message to me as I struggle with trial. I share these excerpts.

First, consider Jeremiah 38:17, 19-20 (NIV):

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, "This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. ..."

King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me."

"They will not hand you over," Jeremiah replied. "Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared."

Zedekiah faced a trial. Jeremiah was God's mouthpiece. Jeremiah said, "Surrender" and "Obey the Lord" and Zedekiah said, "I'm afraid." The Lord says, "Surrender. ... Obey." I say, "I'm afraid."

Second, consider Psalm 23:4 (NASB):

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

I have shared from this many times. We will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but in Christ, we do not need to fear since God is with us and comforts us.

Third, consider Joshua 1:9 (NIV):

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

This is a command: Be strong and courageous. No need for fear or discouragement. If you are in Christ, God is with you wherever you go for His Spirit indwells you.

You, like me, may be in trial. You, like me, may be undergoing sifting like wheat. It hurts. Surrender to His plan. Surrender to Him. You may be afraid, but trust and obey. Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, take comfort that He is with you and comforts you. And in that, be strong and courageous. Fear not! Don't give in to despair. Jesus said He would be with you in Matthew 28:20b: "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

One day, the trial will be over -- possibly on this side of Heaven, but definitely in Heaven. And why are we suffering? Consider 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV):

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

God comforts us in our suffering. I know persons who are still in trial who are comforting us in our trials. And we can do likewise to comfort those who face trials.

It's time to repent of fear (and whatever was contributed to the trial from one's own ways). Do not be afraid! Surrender, obey, take comfort in Him and be strong and courageous for He is with you. And in that you can be comforted and comfort others.

Top of Page

Ichthus Library: Personal Works

Beacon Deacon Home