A speaker on the radio this week said the Bible includes 366 references dealing with fear.
The number 366 caught my attention. That means there is one verse about fear for each day of the year, even in a leap year.
When I tried a search for the word, I got nearly a hundred more hits, but included were verses where the word “fear” appears multiple times and instances where an individual acted out of fear. Different translations provided different results, with many references to “fearing” God, as in being deeply respectful of Him, rather than addressing our tendency to be afraid. I assume the person who provided this statistic counted the actual verses that provide comfort or advice for the fearful person, not just the number of times the word “fear” appears.
These promises and commands offer God’s confidence and comfort when we are fearful. While spoken to specific individuals in the Bible, we know the promises also apply to us because they are contained in God’s Word. For example:
God said to Abram, “Fear not, . . . I am your shield” (Genesis 15:1).
“Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you” (Genesis 26:24), God promised Isaac.
King David proclaimed, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1).
The Apostle Paul wrote, “You haven’t received the spirit of slaves that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the spirit of God’s adopted children by which we call out, ‘Abba! Father!’ ” (Romans 8:15, GW).
And Jesus promised, “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).
My husband and I are embarking on a new adventure this week for an unknown time period. In other words, while we trust God’s leading, the next few months could induce worry and fear. I think that’s why the statement caught my attention.
Whether the number 366 is exact or not, anyone who is afraid can find solace every day in one of the several hundred verses declaring God’s love and care. Whenever you face a new challenge, a difficult conversation, or a discouraging medical diagnosis, or when you listen to the news or worry about the next election, God’s Word offers comfort.
Do you have a favorite scripture you call to mind when you are afraid?