When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17 ESV).
Navigating a new city or a new school can be intimidating. Uncertainty about our next steps or our next plans can give us anxiety. Tragedies and troubles can make us fearful, not only for our lives, but also for the lives of others. Fear can make our bodies ache and paralyze our decision-making if we allow the feeling of fear to grip us. (I know, I’ve let it do that to me.)
The apostle John had a vision in which he encountered the Risen Christ in all his majesty and glory. He writes that he “fell at feet as though dead” when he saw Jesus (Revelation 1:17 ESV) – that’s fear. Coming face to face with Jesus literally paralyzed John, perhaps causing him to sweat and to hyperventilate – real, tangible fear. Notice the response of Christ, he immediately comforted John. Jesus controlled the fear by reminding John of Who he is. He is the antidote to fear.
Fear is a human emotion, and it is natural to feel afraid. Indeed, God gave us fear to protect us from harm – you should be afraid of jumping off a hill into a raging river below! The good news for believers is that we have a Savior who has experienced every human emotion and every human dilemma (Hebrews 4:15). It is his hand on our shoulder which comforts us in times of fear and distress. Jesus understands our emotions and has felt them, too. He will guard our minds with his peace (Philippians 4:7) if we seek him. He is the antidote to fear.
Today, do not be afraid. When you feel anxiety creeping into your heart, take a deep relaxing breath and say the name of Jesus. Slow down your breathing and tell Christ you are fearful. He will comfort you. Read these passages of Scripture to help you feel God’s presence in times of fear: John 14:27; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 13:6; 1 John 4:18; and Psalm 121:1-2; these verses will help you relax and trust in Christ. (Memorize helpful verses of Scripture so you have them in your heart and mind when you need them.) Jesus really is the antidote to fear. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3 ESV).
For more encouraging words, check out the Daily Bible Verse page.