Is it okay to fear?

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Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. This last week, we saw Esther go to the king and begin the conversation where she will eventually tell him that his decree needs to be overturned. She. She approaches him in confidence. She seems totally cool and calm, and we commend her for that.

It seems like she has absorbed the information that no matter what happens, she’s still okay, because God has her, and it enables her to walk in, brave and courageous into a very terrifying situation. And so the question comes in this week, is fear a sin? Is it okay to have anxiety when we’re following God, when we’re entering into these situations? And maybe we have some contradictory information in scripture. You know, Paul and Philippians don’t be anxious about anything.

The most common command in the Bible, in fact, is fear not. And yet, at the same time, we see Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, apparently so stressed that he is sweating blood as he is working out with God what he needs to do in going to the cross. So how do we process all this? Was Esther even afraid? We’re not told how Esther was feeling.

It seems like she’s cool and confident, but when she says, you know, the previous chapter, chapter four, if I perish, I perish. Is she saying that in the similar kind of way that Jesus says, if this cup can pass from me, Father, may this cup pass from me, but if not, may your will be done with sweats of drops of blood coming out his sweat? We don’t know how stressed Esther was. It just seems like she was cool and confident. I think the best way to process all of this comes from one John four, where perfect love drives out fear.

And even if we look at all of the commands, when God says, fear not, he’s telling them that when they’re in a very fearful situation, I think the way for us to understand it is God wants to bring us away from fear through his perfect love. He’s calling us out of that. It’s an opportunity when we’re afraid to move toward him. I wouldn’t get caught up in, if it’s wrong, is it a sin? Am I doing something I shouldn’t be doing?

You know, most of the time when we’re asking those questions, it’s because we want to justify ourselves through our performance, right? If I’m wrong, then I’ll be rejected, and so I need to be right in order. You know, I must be right. Okay, we should relax on that a little. The christian message is, you are wrong, and yet you are accepted.

Christ and so we can drop the fear of rejection and admit, you know, we’re never actually going to be totally right, and yet we’re still accepted. And that is the type of love that draws us out of fear. So again, I wouldn’t stress about whether it’s a sin or not. I would just see fear anytime that we’re afraid as an opportunity to move toward God. Perfect love drives out fear.

We can move toward him. And one other thing, whenever my boys, my sons are afraid of doing something, I tell them, courage. Being brave isn’t like a lack of fear. Courage in being brave is when you’re afraid, but you go ahead and do the right thing anyway. And in the case of Esther, even if she was afraid, she went and confronted the king.

And sometimes moving through that process is what helps us then rely more on the love of God. So relax. He’s got you. And let that truth sink so into your heart that you actually can move toward fearing not. Thanks for the question.

I hope it’s helpful, and we’ll see you next time.