An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid.” (Matt. 1:20)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 1:19-20
I’ve read from multiple sources that variations of the phrase “do not fear” or “do not be afraid” appear 365 times throughout the story of Scripture. Now it may simply be a coincidence, but is it not interesting to you that there is an appearance of this phrase one time for every day of the year?
I am comforted by Joseph’s encounter with this angel of the Lord encouraging him to “not be afraid.” One translation of the angel’s words to Joseph in the original language means to “not be put to flight.” This does not assume a total absence of emotions like fear or worry, but to not let these hold one back from moving forward with a given task.
We fear many things as we move through life, don’t we? We have fears around our jobs, our health, our families, our world. While many of these worries and concerns are understandable, Joseph’s story reminds us that we can live a life free from fear and “not be put to flight” by these things. Rather, we are invited to move forward and to live by faith in a loving, trustworthy Father. God promises his peace, wisdom, and grace to those who earnestly seek it and who walk in his ways. Humbly ask God to lead you out of fear and into his perfect peace as you grow in trust.
We need not walk in fear when we walk with God.
Joel Gorveatte loves Jesus, his wife, and the church deeply. He serves as the Worship & Next Steps pastor at Journey Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.