…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Fear Not!

An Exhortation of Peace

By Eric Chaffey


Throughout the scriptures and in hymns and other places of inspiration, there is a wonderful message. Fear not!

The last few weeks have been something a challenge for me on a number of different levels. Everyone has challenges and difficulties. Perhaps they are one of the things that tell us we are still alive. And as painful as it might be, there is often growth in adversity.

In the last few weeks my mother was in the hospital with a very bad case of pneumonia. A loved one in the hospital is always a stressful experience. Not only for the patient, but for family members as well. In addition to the pneumonia she had some other underlying health issues as well. When she first got into the emergency room her blood pressure was extremely low and they couldn’t figure out if it was because of the anemia, too much heart failure medication, or just a side effect of a bad case of pneumonia. Evidently under such circumstances they will sometimes do a blood transfusion. I knew it was going to happen and I had seen it before. Never the less, I found the sight of a unit of blood on an IV pole to be rather sobering. The good news in all of this is that she was released from the hospital and is recovering.

Between that, my dentist thinking I need $2000 + worth of dental work, painful anniversaries etc. My anxiety level has been somewhat elevated. Since nothing is hurting, I don’t see an immediate need to do anything further about dental matters except maybe floss more. The hospital bill is big, but not totally insurmountable. It will take a while, but in reality it’s not as bad as it could have been.

In all of this the one message that is coming through is Fear Not. Fear not as an exhortation to peace and comfort is a blessing and it’s a message that is oft repeated. Throughout the scriptures. The Angel Gabriel said it to Zacharias in the temple (Luke 1:13). He made the same proclamation to Mary when she was told of the great mission that lay before her (Luke 1:13). The angels who announced Christ’s birth to the shepherds said so as well (Luke 2: 10). The angel who spoke to Joseph in a dream likewise had a similar message (Matthew 1:20). Many times throughout the scriptures when an angel of the Lord appears the first message they speak is “Fear not.” When Joseph Smith recounts his first encounter with Moroni, he was initially afraid but the fear soon left him. The message is also conveyed by Christ. That message is recorded anciently in Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament. Numerous times in the Doctrine and Covenants that same message is given. Some of my favorite hymns have that same message.

In the last few weeks, that phrase is something I’ve read a lot of times and in numerous places. It’s as relevant a message in our day as it was in days of old. The problem for me is often internalizing that message and making it real for me.  For years I’ve had struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. And at times no matter how much I want to heed the message it’s easier said than done. The world is a scary place, and there are lots of things to be legitimately afraid of. But the important message for me is to realize that in all things there is a loving Heavenly Father in charge of all things and I need to put those cares and anxieties in his hands. As I’m thinking about it now, I’m remembering a phrase that was spoken in a sermon a few months ago. “Relax. Jesus is in the boat.” A simple yet profound truth.

In all things, it is important to remember the words of the Lord when he says “Fear not.”


Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed;

For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.

Please enjoy this prelude that I wrote on the hymn “How Firm a Foundation.” 13%20How%20Firm%20a%20Foundation.mp3

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One Response to “Fear Not!”

  1. Rex Goode said:

    Eric, thanks, as always, for your wonderful contributions here. You really do give a gift of openness and inspiration to this site. I am glad that your mother is recovering.

    My favorite “fear not” scripture is Isaiah 35:4.

    Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

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