But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” John 6:20
In John 6:16-20 we read: “In the evening his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark and Jesus had not yet returned. A huge wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, ‘It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.’ So they took him on board. In no time they reached land – the exact spot they were headed to.” The Message.
At the heart of this story is the instruction from Jesus, “It is I; don’t be afraid” John 6:20. What a wonderful word of encouragement. If you’re terrified about a situation you’re involved in, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid.” If fear has disabled you in some way, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid.” If there’s something that’s happened in your past that’s left you feeling nervous or anxious, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid.” And if fear has caused you to live a protective, rather than a progressive life, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid.”
Now if I was to say to you, “Don’t be afraid,” it wouldn’t amount to much. Compared to Jesus there’s next to nothing that I can do to minimize or alleviate your fears. But God isn’t limited in any way. In 2 Thessalonians 3:16 we discover the “Lord of peace himself” gives us “peace at all times and in every way.” The text doesn’t say that God gives you peace sometimes. There isn’t a limited quota on the amount of peace God hands out. If you ask for peace God will give you “peace at all times and in every way.”
Praise the Lord! Through the provision of peace God enables you to minimize your fears. So “Don’t be afraid.” Be reassured. “He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he … will neither slumber nor sleep … The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” Psalm 121:3-4, 7-8.