Jesus taught we should not fear those who can kill our bodies but not harm our souls. Rather, the only one we should fear is the One who can destroy both our body and soul in Hell (Matthew 10:28). Fear is inevitable for all of us, but we must fear the right things. If we fear the wrong things, we will live our lives without joy and even in a state of paralysis.
Those who know Christ need not fear anything in this world. Everything here is temporary, so anything we would fear will be temporary as well. Recognizing all pain, discomfort, sickness, or need is temporary should alleviate much of the anxiety we tend to feel.
After the Israelites saw God miraculously deliver them from slavery by the Egyptians, they were on the verge of crossing over into the land the Lord promised to give them. They could see it, smell it, even taste it (Numbers 13:17-14:24). But they were afraid of the people inhabiting the land. So soon after seeing the Lord destroy Pharoah’s army, so soon after seeing the Red Sea part to allow them passage, and so soon after seeing God provide water from a rock, they were afraid of the seasoned warriors in front of them. They were less afraid of disobeying God than they were of men who were just like them. They didn’t fear the right things.
How many times have you been more afraid of what others will think of you than of disobeying God’s commission to tell everyone about His Son? How many times have you been more afraid not to laugh at an inappropriate comment than you were of dishonoring the Name and character of our Holy King? We don’t fear the right things because we esteem ourselves too highly and don’t esteem God nearly high enough!
Nothing in this world is worthy of our fear. The temporal is never as important as the eternal. We should always be afraid of disobeying and disappointing Christ. That is the only thing we should fear. Nothing else is worth the anxiety. This world can take away our homes, our jobs, our comfort, and our peace, but they can only do it for a little while. No one enjoys pain, but we can endure it when we understand it is for a short time and is producing a great eternal glory spent in the presence of our great Comforter and Healer (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).
This life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow (James 4:13-14). Don’t fear the insults or injuries of this world. Fear the right things. Fear not living as if Jesus is your Lord. What should scare us is loving the things of this world and rejecting the love of God (1 John 2:15). What should terrify us is gaining wealth and accolades in this world and losing our souls (Matthew 16:24-26). Don’t be a fool. Fear the right things and find peace knowing your eternity is secure in the unfailing hands of Jesus (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:38-39).