What is the most used four-word phrase in the Bible, used more than 360 times. It appears in Exodus 14:13. “Do not be afraid”. But why should we not be afraid? The reason is another four-word phrase: “I am with you,” Brian Townsend exhorted us recently.

We are not alone. God is with us, and for a wonderful purpose. “You will see the deliverance promised to you.”

But why are we exhorted not to be afraid, when God knows how prone to fear we are. Look at Paul, flogged, stoned, attacked by bandits, threatened with death. How did he keep going, conquering the fear? Forget what is behind and press on towards the goal, he urges us. That was his motivation to keep going – that God was with him and there was a reward before him.

Jesus must have been afraid too. He knew the agonizing death that was before him. He told his disciples about it several times, and he prayed to God about it, earnestly, sweating drops of blood.

How did Jesus manage? He knew he was not alone. And Paul knew this too. Both could see the future joy, resurrection, to eternal peace. That motivating promise is there for all of us too. Our Kingdom visions help us look forward positively. And God’s assurances are even more amazing than: No eye can see, no mind can even conceive of it.

This light at the end of the tunnel may be bright. Or thoughts and worries may make you afraid and cloud the light. But it is there nonetheless. God is with us and for us. Psalms tell us: Our soul finds rest in Him alone. If we cast our burdens on Him, He will sustain us.

Moses had times of fear. In Exodus 3, despite God speaking to him, he was afraid. In verse 12 we read of the comforting words God gave him. But he still doubted (Ex 4:1). His human weakness is not ignored. He is heped . Hebrew 11 lists all the hard times of being afraid [??], despite knowing God was for them. But God did not hold it against them. That is a comfort for us when feeling negative.

We have been given evidence of our Father’s control over creation. The 10 plagues on Egypt showed God’s mighty hand at work. The miraculous exodus of 2 million of God’s people, 430 years after 70 went down to Egypt with Jacob, are a glimpse of the joy God wants to give us; that we will run and not grow weary; that the ransomed will return with singing. That wonderful time, when fear will be a thing of the past, is the light before us, to drive out all fear.

As John says in 1 John 4v18: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” And Jesus left us with a clear message of encouragement. John 14v27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”