“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.

By Elizabeth Decker, Lutheran teacher and pastor’s wife

Do not fear

What are you afraid of? Take a minute and think … what is the object or cause of terror in your life?

Is it clowns? Heights? Spiders? The fear of losing a loved one?

The Greek word for fear is phobos. From this word we get phobia. Just Google phobias, and you’ll get a list a mile long.

  • Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders.
  • Claustrophobia is the fear of small spaces.
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of big words. (No joke!)

The list goes on and on and on.

Aside from defining and identifying the source of the fears we may struggle with; dealing with them is quite another thing.

Fear can totally stop you in your tracks. Fear can cause you to run from something and in its aggression, it can isolate you from others.

Perhaps you have heard the adage that God tells us “do not fear” 365 times in Scripture.

It is true that every day we are faced with scary stuff. Every day, we will continue to face scary stuff because we are not in heaven yet.

Without the comforting message of Christ and His Word we would be engulfed in our fears. Maybe you are experiencing fear today. Maybe you are tempted to shut down, bury your head, and curl up in a ball to hide from the fears you are facing.

In Isaiah we find great comfort:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10 NIV)

By that righteous right hand upholding and strengthening us, we are able to hold on to the peace that surpasses all understanding through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).

Can you visualize His hand upholding you today?

We need not condemn ourselves. Fear is real!

Jesus recognizes that fear will be part of our life on earth, and He gives us this encouragement in John:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

What joy to know that, even in our despair about our fear, Jesus has overcome the despair and the fear!

Through His death on the cross and His glorious resurrection He has shown us His power over sin, death, and the devil! We can go out courageously and live our lives to His glory!

Dear Father God, thank you for carrying me in your righteous right hand when fear grips me. Thank you for all that you have done for me. I give you the glory as I walk this journey with You. In Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.

LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to workerwellness@lcms.org.