Living in Frightening Times
By Greg Laurie
"Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
The shepherds in first-century Israel were living in frightening times. Everyone was afraid, because they were under the iron fist of Rome. Rome established what was known as Pax Romana,
which had conquered most of the civilized world at that point.
Many Jewish people were wondering, “Will the Romans ever leave our land? Will we ever be free again? Will the Messiah ever come?”
Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere but right on schedule, an angel appeared one night to some shepherds with this message: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born
to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11 NKV).
I find it interesting that whenever angels appeared, they usually began by saying, “Don’t be afraid!”
That’s because when an angel appears, people are generally pretty afraid. Angels are powerful, beautiful, magnificent spirit beings.
Whatever you’re afraid of today, God’s message is this: Fear not. In fact, an important
part of the Christmas message is that you can get rid of your fear and replace it with joy. However, the condition of joy is to let go of your fear, because God came to this earth, born as a baby, in a small town called Bethlehem.
But let’s also notice that the message was “to all people.” It’s for you and for me.
The Bible tells us that “all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord
through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:22–23 NKJV).
Wherever you are right now, God is with you.