LII. Man’s Fear and the Divine Dissuasive.

LUKE xii. 6, 7. “Fear not therefore; ye are of more value
than many sparrows.”

THESE words occur in a discourse of the Lord to His
disciples, in which He is instructing and preparing them
for future work, as heralds of the Kingdom, He warns
them that they will meet with many dangers and enemies,
“but fear not,” says the Master, “you are watched at every
step, and come life, come death you are safe.”
I. Man’s fears. They are of two kinds—
1. Those which respect this world. Some people go
through life much more anxiously than others, though in
outward circumstances there seems little difference in their
respective lots. A good deal depends upon a man’s tem-
perament as to the way in which he will take things. Those
on the lower ground have the least care. As we rise higher
in the social scale, then it brings increasing solicitude. Pro-
vision has to be made not only for the wants of the day,
but for appearances. It is right enough that men should
look to appearances. God looks to appearances. He has
made this world-house beautiful, and we are but following
the Divine example when we try to make our life a thing
of variety, largeness and grace. But in doing so, the
gates of anxiety are opened to us, and we are careful and
troubled.
2. Fears respecting the world to come and our spiritual
state and relation to that.
The fullest victory over the cares and fears of this life
is to be gained only by living for a higher world. Let us
try to see Jesus standing as Lord of both worlds, and
saying, “Fear not.”
II. The Divine dissuasive. “Fear not.” This is sup-
ported and recommended by several arguments, as the
limited power of man and of circumstances. Men may
say and do a great deal which may be injurious to you,
but you always come to the limit: “After that, there is
nothing more they can do.” Again, there is unlimited
power with God, and if we are true trusting disciples of
Christ this is a great dissuasive from fear. God will use
all that infinite power to protect and save His trusting
children. “He telleth the number of the stars,” and has
regard to every sparrow that flies. Why should we fear?
Every hair of my head is telling me to be quiet and to
trust, for the very hairs of my head are all numbered.
Then our Lord teaches us that we are of more value to
God than the inferior creatures, He has a higher care
about us. It is part of our religion to acknowledge our
unworthiness, but to cherish a high estimate of our worth
is also a part. We were made in the very image of God,
having the emotions, thoughts and feelings of God in our
human measure, and though we have sinned, we can also
repent, turn, and come again to our Father. “Ye are of
more value than many sparrows, therefore fear not.”
Alexander Raleigh, D.D.