It has been said that “Fear not” or “Do not be afraid” is the most uttered commandment in the Bible. Someone even said that it is written 365 times in the Bible – one for each day of the year. I do not know if that is true, but I do know that it is the commandment we are given most often by the Lord. RC Sproul writes that Jesus so often used the words, “Fear not”, they were almost a greeting! Sproul writes, “Where most people greet others by saying “Hi” or “Hello,” the first words of Jesus very often were “Fear not.””
“Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Mark 6:50b
When I first found out that the mass in my abdomen shrunk from 9cm to 4cm, I took it as a good thing. And it is. The Doctor even said, “Good news.”, when telling us about the results. But since that time I have been overthinking things – essentially I am worrying…which is nothing other than fear.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
If we look at statistics, which I have done far too much of in the past few days, there is an 80% chance that the cancer is dead and gone and that I am in remission. Yet that 20% chance it is still there bothers me. By worrying, I am putting my trust in odds and not in God. I cannot change what is going on inside of me by worrying. So, I do not know why it bothers me. Perhaps I do not want to go through any more treatment ( I don’t – it is not a pleasant experience). Yet, I know that the Lord in his providence is in control of this and all things.
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:39-40
This “residual mass” within me, is a constant reminder of the broken world in which we live. It is a scar bearing witness of a literal battle against my own flesh. And I can’t help but just want it cut out of me – even if it is just dead cells and scar tissue. Open me up, take it out, make me clean again. The Lord does that spiritually. He rips the cancer of sin out of us through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Why can’t the doctors do it physically…?
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b
One of Satan’s greatest weapons is fear. Anything he can do to get us to take our eyes off of Christ, and to get us out of the Bible, he will use. And we are prone to fear. I did not think I was. I have had no real fear throughout my cancer journey thus far. Yet here, while we wait for 3 months to see what is going on in me, I find myself prone to it. And fear is unbelief. Fear is taking our eyes off of Jesus, and focusing on something else. That is why the Lord assures us over and over again in His Word that he is in control.
Do not fear the things of this world.
Do not worry about tomorrow.
Do not be anxious about anything.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38-39
I am doing better today. In this time of uncertainty, I need Him. I need to focus on Jesus. He is all I need.