If you were to ask me who I would want to meet if I could meet anyone in the bible, aside from Jesus, I would tell you Joshua. I love Joshua! In fact, it is interesting to note that Jesus and Joshua are the same name; Joshua is the English spelling of the Hebrew name Yehoshua, and Jesus is the English spelling of the Greek form of the same name. When I think about the person Joshua, I think of someone who is a real man. When one reads the opening verses of the book of Joshua, Moses, the servant of the Lord, has died. Israel now needs a new leader. God needs someone to step up and lead His people into the promised land. God did not ask Israel to vote for their next leader; God appointed Joshua and he was ready and willing. Joshua is a man whose name means, “savoir or deliverer,” and he will be the one to deliver Israel into the land of Canaan (the promised land). Joshua was a man who often woke up early in the morning, who marched all night, who prayed to God, who confronted sin, and who fought many battles. He was strong, faithful, dedication, convicted, shameless, and of course brave. Over and over again in the book of Joshua God tells Israel, “do not be afraid.” Israel was constantly being reminded that God was with them.
Fear and faith cannot reside in the same heart. God wanted Joshua to have faith in Him and not fear the people of the land. God was with Joshua and God is with His people (the church) today. While Jesus walked this earth, He would often tell people to not be afraid. One such occasion is found in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus and His disciples found themselves in the midst of a storm while sailing the sea of Galilee. The storm was great and the disciples feared for their lives. Where was Jesus? He was in the boat asleep. They woke Him up and asked Him, “do you not care that we are perishing?” (vs. 39). Jesus woke up, got up, and rebuked the storm by saying, “peace be still” (vs. 39). Immediate calmness. Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (vs. 40). Again, fear and faith cannot reside in the same heart. When we find ourselves in the midst of a storm of life, we often times focus on the waves, the wind and the rain, and we take our attention off of Jesus, the one who controls the storms. There are several reasons why the child of God should not fear. Let us consider just a few:
God is with us and God always wins. Just like God was with Joshua, God is with us today. God has never lost a battle; nor will He ever. In the Old Testament, God used many different people to fight battles. However, God was the same God and His army always won. The church is involved in a spiritual battle today, and in the end, God will win. It may not seem like it right now, but faith is the victory! Jesus is the victorious king!
Man can only do so much. Jesus made the statement in Matthew 10:28, “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Man can only do so much; they have limited power. If I am faithful to God and my life is taken because of it, then I will enjoy my reward in heaven. To stand before God in judgement unprepared is truly a frightening thought, for He is able to destroy the soul in hell fire.
God has not given us a spirit of fear. You are created in the image of God, and therefore, He has not given you a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear is disabling.
Fear will spiritually disable us. Spiritual paralysis needs to be avoided because there is so much work to do! We are to be evangelizing the world (Mk. 16:15-16). Those who are afraid of rejection or persecution will not strive to make disciples; they will become inactive in their Christian duties. But love is stronger than fear. We need to love the souls of lost men to the point that we overcome fear.
This is a very short list of reasons why the Christian should not be afraid. The ultimate reason is simply because God said not to be. This is not to say that fear will not creep in and that Satan will try his very best to make us afraid, but it is to say that we need to remember that we have the ability to overcome this fear and anything else that Satan uses to hinder us in our Christian walk. When you find yourself afraid or in that storm, just remember the words of God to Joshua when He said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you where you go” (Josh. 1:9).