“Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul.” —Matthew 10:28

The Lord has commanded us 365 times in the Scriptures: “Do not fear” (Mt 10:28, 31, our transl). By this command, the Lord means that we should not fear any human being, human circumstance, or even the devil. We should not fear death, dying, pain, persecution, rejection, loneliness, poverty, old age, having a large family, evangelizing, going to Confession, being a priest, religious, or missionary, tithing and giving alms, downsizing our lifestyles, etc.
The Lord commands us so frequently not to fear because we may frequently disobey this command and because we are so frequently tempted to let ourselves be manipulated by fear. Because temptations to fear are so pervasive and strong, the fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives, practically speaking, probably depends on whether we have consistently accepted God’s grace to overcome fear. Otherwise, we are life-long slaves of the devil through fear of death and related matters (Heb 2:15).

God graces us with victory over fear of men and human sufferings by giving us the fear of the Lord (see Mt 10:28). By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are awed by the all-holy God. Then we realize that this awesome God is our all-loving Father (see Mt 10:29), Who cherishes us as His children. This fills us with such trust in Him that we are secure in His love and not able to be manipulated by the pressures of fear. Adopted children of God the Father, do not fear!

Prayer: Father, may Your love drive out fear (1 Jn 4:18).

Promise: “If by the offense of the one man all died, much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound for all.” —Rm 5:15

Praise: Lord Jesus, the Gentiles mocked You, spit upon You, flogged You, and finally killed You. But three days later You rose (see Mk 10:34). Jesus, we humbly thank You for Your sacrifice.

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