When fear comes knocking

Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church

Years ago, Ann Landers, the syndicated advice columnist, was at one time receiving 10,000 letters a month from people with many different kinds of problems. She was asked if there was one common denominator among all those who wrote to her. She replied that the great overriding theme of all the letters she read was fear – fear of nearly everything imaginable. Yet, it’s been said that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible; that’s one for every day of the year! So, how is it possible to be free from fear – especially when you consider the kind of world in which we live? Perhaps a story from the past will help:

On January 25, 1934, German pastor Martin Neimoller confronted Adolph Hitler face-to-face in the name of Christ. Consequently, Neimoller was later seized by the Gestapo and placed in solitary confinement. On the morning of his trial, as he was taken from his cell and led through eerie underground passageways, Neimoller began to experience overwhelming fear. Suddenly, however, he heard a whispered voice: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe.” It was the guard speaking those words – under his breath! Upon hearing that comforting truth from the Bible, Martin Neimoller’s fear vanished. And in its place came an indescribable peace that did not leave him, even in the difficult days to come.

The wonderful expression, “the name of the Lord,” stands for the perfect characteristics of God such as faithfulness, power, mercy, and wisdom, on which those who know Him rely for security. In a day when, for many people, fear erodes their faith, dashes their hope, steals their freedom, and quells their joy, there is an answer: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” Upon whom or what are you relying for security? In whom or what have you placed your faith?

For the believer, God’s presence will sustain, His purpose will guide, His promises will encourage, and His power will be supplied. How good to know that in the chaotic times of our age there is a “fear not” for every day of the year!