…we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?
– Hebrews 13:6 (MSG)
An unexpected diagnosis. Another terror attack. A shock election result. An unplanned situation. The fear of the unknown can rob us of precious peace and joy.
But there is an antidote to fear in today’s world of changing circumstances and uncertainty: knowing that God is with us, as an ever-ready help.
The strongest antidote to fear is having the certainty that God Almighty is squarely on our side, no matter what.
To leave us with absolutely no doubts, God lovingly sandwiches this promise with two powerful truths.
The verse before gives us an assurance from God Himself: “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
He will never leave us nor forsake us, under any circumstances.
A couple of verses down comes the second guarantee: “For Jesus doesn’t change – yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself”. (Hebrews 13:8)
Jesus doesn’t change – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
As we have already seen, grace and truth comes by the person of Jesus. Grace is the truth that Jesus brings and represents. Jesus is grace personified.
And grace is what the heart of God is all about.
Right from the beginning, God provided man with everything he needed – food, companionship and love, purpose, pleasures. After man fell in sin, it was God who killed the animal sacrifice and clothed man with the bloodied skins of the sacrifice.
Before the law was given, God gave Abraham victory to save Lot whom God never asked Abraham to bring along. He protected Abraham and his wife when Abraham lied. He freely supplied water and food to the Israelites when they complained and doubted after being delivered out of Egypt.
Even under the law, when judgement had to be meted out for sins committed, God still showed His grace at every opportunity. Whenever Israel called upon His mercy, He halted the judgement or tempered it with grace. He gave them victory over their enemies as long as they offered the animal sacrifices (a picture of Christ).
And then the ultimate act of grace – He sent His own darling Son as the perfect sacrifice to pay for all our sins.
God in Jesus did everything for us. And on the basis of what Jesus did, God freely lavishes His abundant favour upon us.
As believers, we are covered by the redeeming blood of Jesus, and permanently clothed in His own righteousness.
This is the rock solid basis that settles our heart to readily accept His promise and antidote to fear with confidence.
Jesus’s perfect finished work has given us the unshakable peace to boldly receive His grace, and to own the promise of His constant presence and His constant help regardless of our performance.
Jesus has never changed – He has always been about grace.
The following verse – Hebrews 13:9 – leaves no question about this. It warns against being swayed by other doctrines and affirms: “the grace of Christ is the only good ground for life.”
When we understand Jesus and His gospel in the context of grace and grace alone, it becomes easy to rest in God’s antidote to fear.
It is a remedy to be received personally, because His promise is a personal one. He didn’t say “I’ll never let you all down, never walk off and leave you all“, but simply “you“. A remedy offered can only benefit you if you choose to use it.
Things may change in your life, your surroundings, or the country you live in. You may face situations you never thought you’d find yourself in.
But know that when you call, He will answer.
The Lord is your helper. And you need not fear anything that comes your way, for He will never leave you nor let you down.
Because when you encounter Jesus, you encounter grace.