The most frequently used phrase in the Bible is … “do NOT be afraid”. In the Old Testament, GOD tells us, “do not be afraid”. In the New Testament, Jesus constantly says, “do not be afraid”. Paul tells us, “do not be afraid”.
When Jesus was alive, His world was ruled by the Roman government. There was no democracy. There was no free speech. The Jews had no army, no militia. They were completely at the mercy of the Roman Empire and whoever was the ruler at the time. As seen by how Jesus was convicted and crucified, there was no justice. There was no fair play. Pontius Pilot could decide to condemn and punish without having any reason other than his sole discretion. This was the society in which Jesus walked the earth. And He told His followers, “do not be afraid”.
After the death of Jesus, the reason for the spread of what we now call Christianity, was not the words of the men and women who were believers in Jesus … it was their actions. They were not afraid. Stephen was not afraid to be stoned to death. Paul was not afraid of being thrown into prison and killed. Peter, the Rock of the faith, gave his life for Christ. The many martyrs of the early church who were tortured and killed for their belief and faith in Jesus … they were not afraid. Their actions are what convinced the world that Jesus was the Son of GOD … not the rhetoric.
In America today, many who profess to be Christians, are living in fear. They can justify their fear. There is so much to be afraid of when we have so much to protect. We fear for our wealth and our retirement. We fear for our children and their future. We fear for our own lives and the lives of those we love. We are afraid that we could lose our freedom. We fear poor health and growing old. We are not willing to admit it but we live our lives in constant fear. We fear the poor. We fear being poor. We fear terrorism.
The French government has said that it will continue to allow Syrian immigrants to come into France.
The husband of one victim has declared that he will not allow fear to win and encourages the world to love and pray for those who are responsible.
It is unfortunate that we fear the suicide bomber who has no fear.
I AM who I AM … I AM PEACE … DO NOT BE AFRAID.