Welcome to our Fear Not Study Guide. There are over 300 times in the Bible where we are told not to be afraid. You can download a PDFof this guide here.
At some point in our lives we all experience fear. In our current economic crisis: fear and hopelessness are very real obstacles to us living the life that God wants for us. Please share this with someone.
Fear Not, God knows the desires of your heart
Genesis 15:1 “After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great.” CSB
Abram is living in the city where he grew up, married but without children. God calls him to leave what he has always known behind him. God also promises to give Abram many children, as many as the stars in the sky v5.
It took Abraham more than 20 years for God to give him his first child. For all this time Abraham persisted. We don’t know why God made him wait so long, but God is faithful and when He has promised us something then we can have absolute confidence that He will do it.
• What is your greatest desire?
• Have you asked God about it?
• Are you willing to trust Him for it? God gave Abraham a son, Isaac. And God asked him to give Isaac back to Him. Will you trust God with the answer to your prayers if He asks you to lay it down at His feet?
Please don’t rush through these questions. Read them again and let us pray through them now.
Fear Not, God makes us courageous
Joshua 1:9 “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” CSB
Moses has passed away and Joshua is taking over his leadership role. God has brought His people out of slavery in Egypt, through the desert and now they stand before the land that He promised to give them. A land filled with milk and honey.
God calls for Joshua to be courageous, at this time this is the opposite of what Joshua feel like. “Me? Courageous? God are you sure you have the right person?” God sees the hero inside of Joshua and gives him the secret to become that man.
When do we tell someone to do something? Before or after they have already done it?
Joshua has never carried this much responsibility before. He is now a military leader, God calls him to battle and lead the nation of Israel. God tells him not to be afraid and to read the Word (the Law, which is the first 5 books of the Bible. At that point in time they didn’t have the whole Bible)
We need to fill our hearts with God’s promises to us. We do this by reading His Word, taking notes and praying about what we have read.
Fear Not, God fights for you
Deuteronomy 3:22 “Don’t be afraid of them, for the Lord your God fights for you.” CSB
As if leading an entire nation wasn’t difficult enough, the land which God is giving to them is inhabited by giants. 12 Spies are sent into Canaan (Joshua was one of them) and they bring a mostly negative report. 10 say that they look like grasshoppers compared to these people (Numbers 13:33), Joshua and Caleb say that although the people are intimidating – that God can bring them into Canaan and give them the victory.
When we do things in our own strength, then we are bound by the limits of our strength. We worry if we will be strong enough and clever enough to be able to reach our goal. When we allow God to fight for us, then we don’t have to be anxious about our abilities. God prefers that we rely on His strength, in Judges 7 we see how God chooses 300 men to fight beside Gideon against an army of thousands. Why? So that they will not become proud when God gives them the victory Judges 7:2
When God has called you, it will usually be to do something much greater than what you could do on your own. Rather than trying to be superman, God wants us to look to Him.
• What do the battles and the struggles in your life look like right now?
• Are you trusting God to help you with them?
• Where do you go for help when life is tough? Psalm 121:1
Do not fear people
Psalm 118:6 “The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me?” CSB
We get so caught up in the life that we are living right now, that it is easy to forget that there is much more to life than what we will experience on this planet. There are some things that can harm us here (temporarily) and there are other things that can cause eternal problems for us.
Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of mankind is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected” CSB
If you live to please people, it can make us very unhappy. Being a people pleaser and spending all your time and energy trying to keep them happy – we are not putting God first in our lives. You can never keep everyone happy and you don’t have to live for that.
Galatians 1:10 “For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” CSB
We live for God’s approval of us, we don’t need people to like us, to give us self worth. If you are striving for people’s approval so that you can feel good about yourself and your self worth – then you have a big problem.
Do not fear, God will help you
Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, who says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” CSB
Think back to when you were little. Did your father or mother even hold your hand while you were walking with them? Look at a child and see how safe they feel when mommy or daddy holds their hand.
When you are young and walking on a slippery surface, like ice or wet tiles: knowing that daddy has a hold of you is very reassuring. You can fall without getting hurt. But when we get brave and decide to let go of daddy’s hand, we can fall pretty hard. God wants to take us by the hand, reassure us that He is here with us and that He will continue to be here for us.
If we look at the media, it is easy to become fearful. Regardless of what we see happening around us, we must never loose sight of God.
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.” CSB
There is a story about a hitch hiker who was carrying a heavy bag of potatoes. A farmer driving an ox wagon gives him a lift. But the man keeps carrying his potatoes. The farmer asks him why and he answers, “you have been so kind to me, but I can’t make you carry my potatoes also.” What he didn’t realize is that the farmer was already carrying those potatoes. Lord You are doing so much for me, I don’t feel that I can give everything over to You. Let us not have this attitude with God.
God wants to be your daddy
Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” CSB
We have been adopted into God’s family. So He has shared His Spirit with us. There is no darkness in light (1 John 1:5), so it is not possible for God to give us fear. Remember yesterday how we said that God wants to take us by the hand, as a father walks with his son?
Abba means “daddy”, and the only way that we can call God our daddy, is if we have a close relationship with Him. Other words like dad or father don’t convey that same message of a small child, trusting and loving his daddy.
Fear does not come from God. Fear is us having faith that God is not great enough to look after us or to protect us.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” CSB
Being connected to God, we have life. Like a light bulb that can only work when it is plugged into the electricity.
Fear can rob us of a miracle
Luke 8:50 “When Jesus heard it, he answered him, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she will be saved.” CSB
It is possible to be in the presence of Jesus and not to receive a miracle. When fear rules our heart instead of faith, then we can miss a lot of what God has planned for us. Simply because we do not trust Him to give it to us.
As Jesus is on the way to Jairus’ house, to heal his daughter who is sick, a messenger arrives to tell Jarius not to bother Jesus any more. His daughter is dead. The first words Jesus speaks to him, are the words God has spoken so many times to us, “do not be afraid.” There was a town that Jesus visited where He could only do a few miracles, because of the people’s lack of faith. In other instances Jesus fed thousands with a few small loaves and fishes, He raised the dead, cured leprosy and more. And yet, in certain instances He was very limited.
It is possible to stand in the presence of God, while He wants to do a miracle in your life, and to say, “God I do not trust You to do this for me.” It is possible to miss your miracle, it is possible to talk your way out of a miracle.
Matthew 13:58 “And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” CSB
That is why it is so important that the words we speak will be positive and full of faith. Not complaining and fearful. Let us ask God to forgive us for the words we have spoken out of fear, for the times when we have believed that things are hopeless
Fear Not, God knows everything about you
Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” CSB
Many years ago, there used to be sparrows on the South African 1c coin. An animal of very little value. If God knows even the finest, most intricate details about our lives – then this shows that He really cares for us. Think about the person that you love the most. How many things do you know about them? Have you or will you ever count the hairs on their head? There are many details that don’t matter to us about others. But God loves us so much that He knows everything about us. He knows our hearts inside and out.
Psalm 139:13-14 “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.” CSB
Your parents might have not have planned to have you, maybe they didn’t want you. God has formed you and you were not a surprise to Him. God loved you from the moment that you existed.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” CSB
There is no fear in love
1 John 4:16 “And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” CSB
When God reveals Himself to us, we see that God is love. We will be afraid of God, if we have the wrong perspective of who He is. God creates everything in Genesis 1 and puts mankind in a position to rule over everything. From the point that sin enters the world, God embarks on a mission to save mankind from their sins.
During stormy weather, some parents tell their children that God is moving the furniture in heaven. Many misconceptions and shared and this makes it really difficult for people to come to God and to trust Him. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden and He longs to have a restored relationship with each of us.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love.” CSB
In John 3:16 the reason “for God so loved the world” is given for Him sending Jesus to earth. God makes a bridge between where we were and where He wants us to be. I want to ask you to close your eyes for a few minutes and talk to God about how you see Him and about the Father that he wants to be for you.
Write down some of your fears and also why you are afraid of them:
What does the Bible say about your fears?
What has stood out for you the most in working through this study guide?
There are no hopeless situations,
there are only people who have grown hopeless about them