I have read that the most frequent command issued in Scripture is some variation of do not be afraid/fear not/do not fear. Seems that fallen mankind has struggled with this since, well, the fall. Thankfully, the command not to fear (whether personally directed to an individual or more general) is often accompanied by a reason not to fear. "Do not be afraid, FOR..." and then comes a reason. (Though not all of the reasons are introduced by the word "for.")
What are some of those reasons? Read below. These are admittedly snatched out of their contexts, but I'm including the references if you'd like to dig further and see that others before you have had reasons for fear too. But as David Powlison notes, though we do have reasons for fear, we have greater reasons to not fear. Here are some of them.
Do not fear, for...
Lots of good comfort there and that's not all. Do some of your own digging and you may find more, find repeats of some of these, and don't forget to look for the places where the assurance precedes the command not to fear. May God give us grace to trust him and take him at his word.
At least I'm consistent.
I started writing this post about David Powlison's article, "Peace, Be Still: Psalm 131" from his book, Seeing with New Eyes. In it, he explains that short, 3-verse Psalm in a way that helps us come to grips with what might be keeping us from peace. I commend the article to you. You may not agree with everything, but I think it will stir you to think and God may well use it to help you move from a noisy soul to a more quiet soul.
I started to type out his translation of Psalm 131 alongside what he calls its "anti-psalm." It is a helpful way of considering the sources of noise and stress and anxiety in our lives and our need to rest quietly in God's faithful hands. But as I was typing it, I decided to do a search of the blog to see if I had done this before. Sure enough, I found this post from 2013. So click on over if you're trying to diagnose the noise and lack of peace in your life and maybe you'll find some help.
(I'm not the first to be helped by Powlison's work on Psalm 131. This is from Justin Taylor back in 2009.)
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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