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It is repeated 365 times, God really wants us to be at peace.
Probably, many will think that the most common phrase in the Bible has to be some kind of prohibition, a “you will not do” this or that or maybe something like “love your neighbor”.
However, the truth is that the most repeated advice throughout the Old and New Testaments is ” Do not fear .”
You may already be familiar with some verses of Scripture with this loving exhortation. For example, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary announcing that she would be the Mother of Our Savior. Or when Joseph heard these words knowing that he would be the earthly father of Jesus: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to receive Mary, your wife, because what has been begotten in her comes from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). ).
Since Jesus was about to be born in Bethlehem, another angel appeared to the three kings (the magicians) with the same words of encouragement.
When Zacarias was informed that his wife would conceive at his advanced age, “he was disconcerted and afraid. But the Angel told him: ” Do not be afraid , Zacarias; Your plea has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will give you a son whom you will call John “(Luke 1,12-13).
In fact, there are many more verses, apart from these Christmas, in which the Bible encourages us not to be afraid.
In the Transfiguration of Jesus, the disciples fell to the ground overwhelmed by fear , but “Jesus approached them, and touching them, said to them: ‘Rise up, do not be afraid ‘” (Matthew 17,6-7).
In total, the phrase ” do not fear ” or some variant is repeated 365 times throughout the Scripture!
Many of our daily concerns large and small revolve around some kind of fear of what might happen. Anxiety consumes much of our energy : Will everything go well on the trip? Will you have a car accident? Will I ever forgive my brother? Am I doing what God wants in this situation?
What will the medical analysis tell us? Will your addiction worsen? Am I correct with this decision? Will I really see my loved ones in paradise …? The questions swirl endlessly in our heads and, for each one, God reminds us to turn to Him in prayer and with confidence.
In Revelation 2:10, we are encouraged: ” Do not fear for what you will have to suffer: see that the devil is going to throw some of you in jail to be put to the test, and they will have to suffer for ten days. Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life. “
In Deuteronomy 31.6 we are exhorted to place our trust in God, in that he will not abandon us when we put Him first in our lives: “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. Because the Lord, your God, accompanies you, and he will not abandon you or leave you helpless. “
In Psalm 27,1 we remember that no earthly disappointment can destroy us: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear ? The Lord is the bulwark of my life, before whom shall I tremble ? “
In Jeremiah 1,8 we read: ” Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
In Matthew 10.28: ” Do not fear those who kill the body, but can not kill the soul. Fear rather him who can throw the soul and the body into Gehenna . “
Luke 12,7 tells us: “You have all your hair counted: fear not , for they are worth more than many birds”.
In John 6:20 we read that when the disciples saw Jesus walking towards them on the water, He said to them: “It is I, do not be afraid “.
Saint John Paul II began his papacy with a crucial reminder: ” Do not be afraid! ” This saint of our times constantly urged us to accept the peace that Christ offers us and to always trust in His love and mercy.