We Can Overcome Fear

One of the most challenging commands in the Bible, and one which Christ Jesus repeats on more than one occasion, is the command, "Fear not." It is at once a challenge and an assurance, because Christ Jesus did not give orders lightly. Many people, thinking that fear is natural, have believed that there was at least some form of fear which they could not completely overcome. But Jesus did not say, "Fear less," or, "Show no fear." He said, "Fear not," and he spoke with authority, expecting to be obeyed. He knew and was proving that fear is not necessary or irresistible, but that it can be surely overcome.

The quality of Jesus' thinking which made confidence natural and fear unnatural to him was his spiritual awareness of God's omnipotence. He tried to communicate this sense to his disciples. He showed them in what light he viewed the world around him, how he saw everywhere proofs of God's goodness and government. The fowls of the air are fed, the flowers and the grass of the field are clothed; why should not man trust his life to his Father? Parable after parable shows this same readiness of the Master to see in common things some hint of the kingdom of heaven, which he recognized as ever present.

But the kingdom of heaven was no less evident to Jesus when circumstances suggested cruelty and violence instead of protection. "In the world ye shall have tribulation," he said to his followers, "but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." His fearlessness was based upon his awareness of and dependence upon spiritual Truth and his firm rejection of everything opposed to spiritual Truth. He claimed habitually the immunity from discord that belonged to a citizen of the kingdom of heaven the immunity of one who had overcome the world. And this same overcoming, he said, was to be the basis of his followers' good cheer in the face of defiant evil.

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"The only"
November 6, 1943

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