Don’t Be Afraid
by Debra Hane
As a little girl, I remember lying in bed at night, gripped in fear that alligators were under my bed and would bite me if I tried to get out. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But for me, the fear was quite real. Later I reasoned that if there were no alligators before I went to bed, they couldn’t just appear after the lights went out. Sometimes our minds easily wonder and imagine things that cause us to fear while other times our situations warrant fear. This reminds me of a night I was walking and saw a bear ahead and then noticed her cub in the tree nearby. My fear warned me to retreat with caution.
Fears, whether warranted or imagined, affect our thoughts and actions. For some, courage trumps fear, maybe even resulting in acts of heroism. What does God want us to do with our fear? He says in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I asked my grown children what songs they enjoyed singing when they were young and they mentioned, “Jesus is Caring for You.”
This song brought them great comfort. If I had known this song as a child, I would have fallen asleep in comfort rather than fear.
Here are four truths you can talk about with children to help them know what to do when they are afraid.
When you are afraid, remember, Jesus is watching you. Children who believe in Jesus can rely on God’s promises. Psalm 23 is a great passage that describes how God cares for us like a shepherd watching over his sheep. Jesus knows everything. You can assure kids that Jesus knows what they’re going through and He has the power to protect and provide.
When you are afraid, remember, you can talk to the Lord. Jesus hears when we pray. Encourage kids they can tell Jesus how they feel, ask Him for His help, and even ask Him to make them brave. Fear may be a signal to proceed with caution but it’s also a reminder to put our trust in God. Kids need help knowing how to process their fear. Encourage them to always turn to God first. God is greater and more powerful than anything else.
When you are afraid, remember, you are not alone. Jesus is always with them. He will help them through the hard times.
Kids may face difficult situations: sickness, abuse, loneliness, bullying…but they can find comfort knowing God is bigger and greater than the scariest thing they could face. God is powerful, loving, and good. Like Psalm 23 says, God is like a good shepherd, one who would use a rod to protect the sheep and a staff to guide the sheep away from danger and close to himself. Children who believe in Jesus do not need to be afraid. They can feel safe knowing God is their protector and guide. God uses even the bad things that happen to help guide us away from danger and closer to Him.
When you are afraid, remember God’s promise of everlasting life. For some, the greatest fear may be death. But those who believe in Jesus, can set their hope in God’s promise of everlasting life. Death is not the end but the beginning of life with God in His perfect home forever. God has an amazing plan to give us a new body in our new home—one that will never be sick, grow old, or die. Then we will know perfect love, joy, and peace. Heaven is a place to look forward to and we don’t have to be afraid to die.
You can help kids live with courage that trumps fear by growing their faith. Talk through these truths and make it personal for them. Teach them to say, When I am afraid, I will remember Jesus is watching me, I can talk to the Lord, I am not alone, and I will remember I have everlasting life.
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