Most every day I talk to someone who is afraid or anxious (which is generalized fear).
Maybe you fear what people think of you? Not having enough money… Public speaking, flying, being far from home, or spiders… Failure or rejection… Losing a loved one… Disease or pain… Death… These are common fears.
We all long to “Fear not,” to be free to love and be loved. We all long for more of God’s peace in the midst of stress, danger, and uncertainty.
Are you feeling anxious or afraid of the coronavirus and its effects on society?
How Many “Fear Nots” are There in the Bible?
“Fear not!” is the most repeated command in the Bible. In fact, it’s been said that there are 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible — one “Fear not” for every day of the year! Lloyd Ogilvie in Facing the Future without Fear even said there are 366 “Fear nots” in the Bible, one for every day of the year, including Leap Year! God doesn’t want us to go a single day without hearing his word of comfort: “Fear not!”
Actually, as I share in my book Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke, there are way more than 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible! Thank God because everyday we need to be reminded to “Fear not” and trust God’s loving presence.
Are there Really More than 365 Fear Nots in the Bible?
Many people say, “It’s a nice thought to say that there are 365 ‘Fear nots’ in the Bible, but it’s not true.” Indeed, there is not a version of the Bible that 365 times says, quote unquote, “Fear not.” For instance, the King James Version says “Fear not” or “Be not afraid” 103 times, but not 365 times.
So why do I say that there are more than 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible?
“Fear” is spoken of over 500 times in the KJV. Furthermore, in addition to the “Fear nots” many times the Bible teaches us to “Fear God,” which really means reverence God alone and do not fear anyone or anything else. Expanding the search to look at verses encouraging us to receive God’s peace and strength when we’re worried or anxious would add many, many more “Fear not” Scriptures. This is why I say that there are more than 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible.
A Fear Not Prayer
The Psalmist often leads us in a “Fear not” prayer. The Psalms are the Bible’s great soul book, meant to train us to respond to all difficult feelings and life situations through emotionally honest prayer in community. We’re trusting the Lord as we love one another.
The Beloved Disciple John summarizes the Bible’s promise to “Fear not”: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:11, 18).
Another example is Psalm 56. David has been seized by the Philistines and he starts to become afraid, but instead he sets his vision on his Lord and Savior in his midst. He praises God and his word to him: “Fear not!” He puts his trust in the Lord…
When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
(Psalm 56:3-4, repeated in similar words in verses 10-11.)
What fear is trying to take a hold of you right now? What threat or trouble are you facing?
Watch and pray with David, “When I am afraid of _________, I will trust in you, O Lord.”
In Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke I show you how to use Scripture prayers of the heart like this to overcome anxiety and fear. Let me walk you through your fears and into the loving arms of Christ. You can learn to live with peace and power!