How Not to Panic
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
We hear it all the time: Don't Panic, Don't Fear, Don't Worry. Easier said than done right?
Did you know that, Do Not Fear, is the most repeated command in the Bible? We are told 365 times, Do Not Fear. We can and should write that command on every day of our calendar. It must be important for us to learn for it to be repeated so many times. And, I suppose because we are fearful creatures by nature that God had to repeat it that many times. We are after all a stubborn and stiff necked people, aren't we?
It’s interesting because the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength,” and the second greatest command is, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Yet, that’s not repeated as often as, Do Not Fear. Hmm, the greatest commandment, which I think is the most important, is not repeated as often as, Do Not Fear. Why is that?
Could it be that fear keeps us from loving?
I think so.
The Bible says that God’s perfect love casts out fear.
Could it be that we fear and worry because we do not love and trust God, fully?
I think so.
Could it be that if we truly loved and trusted God that we wouldn’t fear or worry?
I think so.
I mention worry because fear and worry are pretty much the same thing, not trusting God. The Bible also tells us many times, Do Not Worry. Jesus says it a lot in Matthew 6. When we worry, we’re not trusting God, and that's not loving God. The Bible says this over and over. To love God, is to trust God, is to not worry or fear. It's a reoccurring theme of the Bible.
There is a place for fear. But it’s not in the things that we usually fear. Yes, there are scary things in the world. Scary people. Scary places. Scary circumstances. Scary viruses. But God is bigger than all of that, and He is with us in all of it. He is loving us and doing something for our good in whatever circumstances we face.
You might say, but I can't help worrying or being afraid. Which probably means that there's something in your life most meaningful to you that is being threatened. In our human nature and common sense way of thinking we might say that's okay, you have a right to be afraid and worry. But, for the believer, that's not so. We have Jesus and His Holy Spirit which means we have a supernatural power to overcome fear, worry and anxiety. Having Jesus is what makes it possible not to fear, worry or be anxious, because He is the great I Am, and He is enough. When this truth convicts us it will strengthen our resolve. It's only when we’re captivated by God’s love and confident of His goodness, that we’re empowered with a supernatural peace and joy in the midst of a storm or virus.
There's really only one fear we should have, and that's fear of offending a most Holy God who created us from dust and loved us so much that even while we were sinning He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. When we fear sinning against this most Holy and unconditionally loving God more than anything else, then will we have the proper perspective to not let fear of other things grip us.
When we truly love and trust God more than anything then will we be content in all circumstances. Even in a pandemic, even in loss of work, even in isolation, and even in a shortage of toilet paper.