Overcoming Fear

One of the outstanding characteristics of Christ Jesus was his fearlessness. Whoever makes a careful study of the Gospels of the New Testament will not fail to notice this. Besides, the Master was familiar with the effects of fear on mortals. He met it scientifically in his own case, attaining to a marvelous degree of calm courage; and he knew that others could do the same were they possessed of the understanding he had of spiritual reality.

It is instructive to notice a few of the occasions on which Jesus admonished men not to be afraid. When on his way to the house of Jairus, whose daughter was sick, he was told that she had died. What did he say in reply? "Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:36). We learn from the narrative what followed: the restoring of the damsel to life. On another occasion (Matthew 14:25–32), when, "walking on the sea," Jesus approached the ship in which were his disciples, Peter, after he "was come down out of the ship, ... walked on the water, to go to Jesus." But becoming afraid, "and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." Then Jesus "stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" In both instances, in his gentle yet firm way, he denounced fear. Then, again, we have the Master's words to his disciples when he warned them of hypocrisy, covetousness, and carefulness of earthly things: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).

What was the basis of Jesus' fearlessness? His faith in God—faith, the result of his spiritual understanding. Jesus knew God as his Father. And knowing God as his Father he felt secure in His love, felt certain of the power of God to protect him in whatever difficulty might confront him. He had a profound understanding of God; and he sought to impart it to others, assuring them that God was their Father, even as He was his Father, in order that they might lose their fears and enter into a great sense of security and peace.

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Control, not Excess
September 5, 1936

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