Dont be Afraid-article

Dear Friend,

     Are you or someone you love facing a major challenge to life or health? Is it difficult to keep fear at bay as you deal with the realities and concerns connected with this crisis?

     Life can serve up very tough situations—some that jeopardize our very existence and/or our ability to move ahead. One of the most stifling aspects can be the fear factor.

     The words of encouragement we offer here may not change the reality at hand. But it might help you to hear the voice of Jesus right now as He says to you, “Don’t be afraid.”

The Master's Care

     For the last few months, I have been reading frequently in the early chapters of Mark, especially Mark 4 through Mark 7. I’ve been amazed at the variety of situations Jesus faced. One incident has repeatedly captured my attention: the account in Mark 5:21–43 of Jairus, the leader of a local synagogue. His young daughter is at death’s door. (Perhaps you may know of someone in a similar position?) Jairus has asked Jesus to come and pray for his little girl. As they head toward his home, their journey is interrupted by the woman with the issue of blood, who touches the hem of Jesus’ garment and is miraculously healed.

     At that very moment, servants from Jairus’ house arrive on the scene with this sad news in verse 35: “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

     The servants of Jairus were telling him to face reality: “It’s over, Jairus. No need to continue this pursuit. Don’t waste Jesus’ time.” Jesus, however, had a completely different attitude toward the situation. The first words He said to Jairus were, “Don’t be afraid.”

Fear: The Enemy of Faith

     “Do not be afraid; only believe.” I find it remarkable that Jesus didn’t say, “Don’t be sad,” or “Don’t let grief overtake you.” Instead, He made sure Jairus did not give in to the fear that hit him at that moment. The Amplified version sums up Jesus’ command so well: “Do not be seized by alarm and struck by fear” (v. 36). Don’t let that enemy creep in!

     These words to Jairus were the same ones Jesus later gave his disciples in Mark 6:50 as He walked on the water toward their boat: “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

     What is the similarity of these two incidents? In both cases, Jesus was totally in charge. Clearly, the same One who could supernaturally walk on the surface of the water was the very One who could supernaturally bring a little girl back to life. Why must we not fear? Because our powerful Lord is in total control of every situation—no matter how serious. 

It’s Not Over Yet

     What about those words from the servants? “Why trouble the Teacher any further?” Unfortunately, that statement reflects a prevalent attitude toward prayer: “The Lord probably is too busy to listen to my paltry prayer. Why should I trouble Him with my insignificant issues?” This is false in every way—not only in small matters, but especially in the larger issues of life. Contrary to popular belief, the Lord is attentive to our every need.

     In the case of Jairus’ daughter, Jesus immediately nipped this falsehood in the bud. “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe’” (v. 36).

     Once they had arrived at the house, Jesus quickly let the mourners know it was not over yet, even though they ridiculed Him for doing so. Inviting into the room only those who had the impulse to keep on believing, Jesus tenderly spoke to that twelve-year-old girl: “Talitha, cumi. (Little girl, I say to you, arise.)” The result? “Immediately the girl arose and walked” (v. 42).

Rethinking Your Situation

     As you consider how the Lord miraculously raised up Jairus’ daughter, do you sense hope stirring in your spirit? Can’t He do the same in your situation—the one you thought was totally dead, gone, and irretrievable? Will you let faith prevail over your fear?

     Let’s deal with that stark diagnosis from the doctor—or your personal situation that doesn’t seem to have any solution or remedy. Instead of being gripped by fear, take a moment to listen to what Jesus is declaring to you: “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Focus on the Eternal

     Resisting fear and building faith. Derek Prince made the point regularly that building faith requires a focus on the eternal realm. In a profound message, “The Eternal, Unchanging Word,” Derek talks about being weaned away from the temporal world to focus on the eternal realm. That’s really what we do in an intentional way when we choose to believe His eternal Word over the fears we grapple with in our everyday world.
     I do not indulge in negative thinking. I can, but I don’t. God doesn’t stop me; I stop myself.

     When negative, depressing, defeating thoughts come to me, I turn to the Word of God. I wake up in the night and say, “With God all things are possible [Mark 10:27]. The things that are impossible with men are possible with God [Luke 18:27]. All things are possible to him that believeth [Mark 9:23].”

     For years, every time I saw any kind of sickness approach my body I said, “Thank You, Jesus. You took our infirmities and You bore our sicknesses. With Your stripes we are healed.” It’s good to have faith to get healed. But I think it’s much better to have faith to stay healthy.

A Response in the Spirit

     I don’t know what you are facing right now, but I have a sense that what we have shared so far is moving you out of your fear into faith. Would you be willing to join me in a prayer of relinquishment of our situations to the Lord? Let’s do so right now.

     Lord Jesus, You have been with me all along. You have heard the statements that have been made against me and against the ones I love. As in the case of Jairus’ daughter, You have heard them say to me, “It’s over. It’s done with. There is no need for you to trouble the Master any further.”

     With this prayer, I reject those pronouncements. Instead, I place these issues fully in Your hands. I believe You care deeply about these matters.

     I also reject the fear that is attached to the situation before me. I declare that I will not be afraid; but I will only believe. I believe in You, Jesus, and I entrust this situation fully to You. I believe You can speak life and healing to it. You can bring it back from the dead, declaring: “I say to you, arise.” Amen.

The Continuing Battle

     The bold step you and I have just taken into the realm of faith will require strong reinforcement. Our troubles are not always resolved immediately. It takes faith to continue to battle fear and unbelief. Our desire is to walk with you throughout that entire process.

     One of the first ways we can help is by providing some of Derek Prince’s life-changing material. Friends regularly tell us that the teaching we have shared with them has made all the difference—and we want that for you. Please feel free to request the message, “The Eternal, Unchanging Word,” from which we drew Derek’s teaching segment. We know it will provide extra encouragement and inspiration for you in the days ahead.

     This free offer is our way of thanking you for your connection with DPM. We are grateful for your prayers, for all the testimonies you have shared with us, and for your generous financial help that allows us to encourage so many all around the world.

Right Beside You

     Dispelling fear is no casual task, especially when we and our loved ones are facing grave situations. Even David, the Psalmist, referred to this reality in Psalm 23 when he said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

     But what did he say next? “I will fear no evil; for You are with me” (v. 4). Those words are so much like what Jesus said to Jairus when the news came about his little girl. Truly, Jesus was right there beside Jairus when they saw the miracle together: “Talitha, cumi!”

     In the same way, Jesus is right beside you and me in whatever situation we face. If we listen closely, we will hear Him speak to our hearts: “Don’t be afraid; only believe.”
All the best,
Dick signature

Dick Leggatt
President, DPM–USA

P.S. We are so grateful for your strong connection with us. Please make sure to take us up on our free offer for “The Eternal, Unchanging Word.” We know it will help in the process of staying centered on Jesus, hearing His reassuring voice—no matter what we are facing.