As we continue looking at The Annunciation, we see in our text that Mary’s status of having favour with God (first mentioned in Luke 1:28) is repeated by the angel, Gabriel. However, this time he adds the command: “Fear not”.
The rationale of the statement is fairly straightforward yet profound: If we have found favour with God the creator and abiding ruler of the universe, then we have nothing to fear.
In other words, fear is IRRATIONAL for the saved, the children of God. If we are in the care of God, The Almighty; who or what can harm us?
Moreover, as Romans 8:35-39 teaches us, nothing can separate us from God’s love: in each and every circumstance, God is working things out for our benefit and for His glory.
“35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
…38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35, 38-39)
Then why are so many Believers still fearful?
Our problem is that we trust our senses more than we trust God. Our tendency is to walk by sight, i.e., to live by our senses and our own human logic. When our sensory experiences tell us that things are out of the norm, our minds conclude, based on that limited information, that we are in danger, that we should react in fear.
However, there is often much more going on than our senses can detect. And, our limited human minds are unable to process all the variables that are in effect. Therefore, we have only two options, either we rely on our weak minds working with limited information, OR we trust in God’s omniscience.
“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
The apostle, Peter, was able to walk on water as long as his trust was solely on Jesus. But when he looked around at the waves and started trusting in his senses instead of Jesus, he feared and started to sink. His ability to triumph over his circumstances depended on whether he trusted God or trusted his senses.
And [Jesus] said, “Come.” And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me.”
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:29-31)
God the Father sent us Jesus so that through Him we can find favour with God. Jesus came to take away our fear.
In closing, it is also instructive to consider the contrapositive to Gabriel’s statement.
“Fear not… for thou hast found favour with God.”
“You who have NOT found favour with God, FEAR.”
The unrepentant and unsaved, of their own choice, live in enmity with God and God’s children. It is not a small thing to openly rebel against The Creator of the universe. God is Holy and it is right for us to humble ourselves before Him so that we can find favour with Him.
And there is a price to pay if we reject His offer of salvation:
For we know him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense“… It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30-31)
Because of Jesus, the saved, those who have found favour with God, have nothing to fear: they are on God’s team. Regardless of the circumstances, they know they can trust in God. God alone has everything worked out, He alone knows the real truth and He is in control of the storms.
But the unsaved, those who have rejected Jesus, should live in constant fear of God’s judgment.