Don’t Be Afraid!
By Rick Warren
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NLT, second edition).
What are the things you’re worried about? The election? Your health? Your bills? Your kids? Are you worried about the future? The fact is there are lots of reasons to be afraid in today’s world. But God’s promise is that, even in your darkest valleys, he is walking beside you.
It’s interesting to note that there are 365 verses in the Bible that say, “Fear not.” God provided us with one “Fear not” message for every day of the year! Don’t you think God is saying, “Get the message. Don’t be afraid.” It’s interesting that almost every time God talks to someone in the Bible, the first thing he says is, “Don’t be afraid!”
Why? Because our hurts and hang-ups can often cause us to think that God is out to get us, that all he wants to do is condemn us and punish us. But that simply isn’t true. Jesus is the proof of that.
When we understand God’s grace and mercy, then we have no need to fear the future. God isn’t trying to get even with you. Jesus has taken the penalty for everything you’ve ever done wrong or will do wrong. He paid for it on the cross. So when a bad thing happens, you don’t have to think, “God’s getting even with me.” Instead, remember, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalms 23:4 NLT, second edition).
Talk It Over
- What promises from God’s Word can you claim when you’re tempted to worry about something in your life?
- In what ways does God protect you?
- Why should understanding Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross keep you from fearing the future?
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