I just got back home from taking two of my daughters to their back-to-school night. Big deal you say! It is a big deal for them since it is the first time in their lives that they will be in public school. They are facing the fear of the unknown.
The fear of the unknown! It is easy to dismiss someone else's fear of the unknown. I find myself telling them, "It will be okay. You will be fine." I know that and I think they believe that too.
It can be quite different, though, when WE are the ones that are gripped by fear. Sometimes we just need to hear some encouraging words. Reminds me of God's words to Joshua after Moses died.
"There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:5-9)
I don't necessarily think that Joshua feared going into the Promised Land of Canaan (Numbers 14:6-9). I do think that he needed some "Fatherly" encouragement and a reminder from God. He was taking on a great task and taking over from a great leader.
I have heard it said that the Bible contains the command to not fear a total of 365 times--that's one a day. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", but "a command a day keeps fear away." May those of us who know Christ remember the words that God spoke to Moses "be strong and of a good courage"