October 1, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’”—Exodus 14:13–14 (NIV)
Did you know the most frequently stated command in all of Scripture is “fear not” or “do not be afraid”? It’s said 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year! Why? Because God knows fear is one of the most pressing issues we’ll face our entire lives, and we need to be reminded daily to trust in Him, stand firm in Him, and find our security, comfort, strength, relief, and peace in Him.
In today’s passage, the Israelites are at the foot of the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his officials pursuing them. Now, imagine being the Israelites and knowing the Egyptians were coming for you. Exodus 14:10 (NIV) says, “They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.” Not only that, and because of their fear, they said to Moses, “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert” (Exodus 14:12 NIV)!
I can’t fault them and neither should you. Why? Because even now, knowing Jesus and having the Holy Spirit indwell in me, in moments of crisis or difficulty I still doubt, give fear a foothold, and freak out over what might happen. And let me tell you, not to minimize anyone’s struggles or circumstances, but I’ve personally never faced anything as scary as the Egyptian army bearing down on me with the sea between me and freedom.
But look at the command: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” In fact, it was so that they, their descendants, and you and I today could see His deliverance clearly, so we could behold His glory and know the name of the Lord! And every trial, tribulation, tragedy, difficulty, desert, valley, mountain, and army that we face is also ordained for His glory, for our deliverance, redemption, and sanctification, and so that we and others would know the name of the Lord!
If all we experience and encounter is for our good and His glory, then I pray we will never let our hearts sink or stagger through unbelief, but with quiet, confident minds may we look up to and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). May we stand firm in faith and walk in peace and obedience. May we overcome fear because He that is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), and He that is in us has overcome the world (John 16:33)! And not only that, because of this, we can count it all joy when we encounter trials (James 1:2), and we can glory in our sufferings because we know they produce perseverance, character, and hope that doesn’t disappoint because God’s love is poured on us through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:3–5)!
I pray this has encouraged you today, wherever you find yourself!
Pause: Why is “do not fear” the most frequently command in the Bible?
Practice: In the last paragraph of our devotional today, several passages have been listed. Go back and read those passages in their entirety and write them down. Keep them in a note on your phone, or jot them down by hand and put them as sticky notes around your house or work space. Let these reminders sink in.
Pray: Heavenly Father, help me overcome fear and doubt through the power and peace available through the Holy Spirit. Help me to stand firm and walk forward in faith in every circumstance. I pray specifically for _____________ situation in my life, that You would remind me of my deliverance and redemption through Jesus, and that You would remind me that You are sovereign, in control, and working all things for my good and Your glory. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.