The most shared, bookmarked and highlighted Scripture verse — both in the U.S. and around the world — in 2022 was Isaiah 41:10, according to the YouVersion Bible app.
The verse says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”
The words are straightforward, as are several other passages scattered throughout the Bible, and yet they are so easily forgotten on any given day. Why do we allow fear to gain control?
Joshua 1:9 challenges us to “be strong and courageous,” while Psalm 27:1 says, “Of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 23:4 says, “I will fear no evil,” and Psalm 34:4–8 notes, “He delivered me from my fears.”
Psalm 56:3–4 says, “When I’m afraid, I trust in You.”
‘Do not let your heart be troubled’
Two of my favorites are Psalm 46:1–3, “God is our refuge and our strength,” and John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you. … Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Of course, we are all familiar with Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
More assurances can be found in Matthew, Isaiah, Romans, Philippians, 1 Peter, 1 John, 2 Timothy, Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Chronicles, 1 Corinthians, Hebrews and many of the Psalms.
With so many references from God’s Word, why do you think we sometimes fail to trust Him?
Why would we ever allow anything else to supersede His promises?
Reflecting on the past year, what decisions did you make — or avoid — out of fear?
Can you look back now and find situations where you responded in a way you might not have if you could have known the outcome in advance?
I’m not talking about being cautious related to health concerns or even phobias such as a fear of heights.
We all should be aware enough of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally to avoid pitfalls and problematic circumstances.
We also should be prudent and plan for various conditions, especially within the context of potential crises.
Thinking around a situation provides clarity and readiness for next steps.
But that’s different than unmerited panic and exaggerating information to stir up others in the process.
Please know how much we appreciate your steadiness and ability to think carefully and critically.
We are confident a steady hand and peaceful spirit truly make a difference when approaching all the world throws our way.
We also believe a central communications hub, like you have with The Baptist Paper and all its digital counterparts, provides a calming effect while keeping you appropriately informed, resourced and encouraged.
Even more important is consistent engagement with God’s Word.
The American Bible Society describes engagement as reading the Bible frequently, applying its teachings to our decisions and making it central to our faith.
Sometimes reading Scripture can become more of a routine box to check rather than the life-changing, decision-directing, comfort-lending experience it provides when we truly engage.
Other times our schedule is too overwhelmed to even spend a few minutes meditating on the Word.
What tips can you share related to Bible-reading plans and how to keep our private time with the Lord a priority?