Halloween is a holiday devoted mostly to one thing: FEAR. People buy tickets to experience a good scare in haunted houses or darkened movie theaters, or dress up as their favorite monsters. But our culture’s fixation with fear seems to go beyond October 31st. Fear-driven headlines, marketing strategies, and rhetoric fill the world around us, and in the face of it all we might find fear taking root in our own hearts. If we’re honest with ourselves, many of us experience fear daily, about everything from being late to a meeting, to getting on an airplane, or even about our own future. But God has something very different to say about fear, and it starts with a surprising fact.
Do you know what command is given more than any other in Scripture? It’s just two simple words: “Fear not.” That command, or a variation of it, appears 366 times in the Bible. As our Creator, God knows and understands our tendency to fear. But it’s far from his perfect design for our lives. Fear doesn’t just limit our own effectiveness and potential — it warps our view of and relationship with God. So he offers us a way out: his love. According to John, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18 NIV). The power of God’s love frees us from our fears, by assuring us that no matter what happens, he is with us, and has already secured our eternal future. This doesn’t mean we’re immune to the storms of life. But it does mean that even in the midst of them, our fear is replaced with hope. Peter reminds us: “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV).
So the next time you’re tempted to give in to fear, I’d encourage you to remember something: that the love of our triune God is far more powerful than whatever we could possibly be afraid of. Nothing can separate us from the love of our Father.
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.