I first heard it in college. Later I heard it again. One time even used it in a sermon. I am sure you have heard it. Lately I have seen it posted all over Facebook. It is the teaching that the Bible says “Do Not Fear” 365 times. That is one for each day of the year.
The first time I heard it was from a wise older preacher so I was sure it had to be right. Then when I started seeing it everywhere I began to have my doubts as to its validity. Honestly, I really began to wonder about this because this is a leap year. There are 366 days this year so what are we supposed to do on the extra day?
All this lead me to my computer software program to do some research. I searched “do not fear” and “fear not.” I could only come up with 50 to 100 verses. It seemed no matter what phrase I searched I could not come up with anywhere near even 300 verses.
Then I started to actually read some of the verses. Many of them were when angels showed up to talk to people. When people see a real angel they are terrified and most of the time the messenger of God has to begin with saying “do not fear.” How did that get applied to how we should live every day? I guess it applies if you are going to see an angel everyday but I am guessing by day 181 you will stop being so surprised and scared.
So where did this concept come from?
After do some searching around the internet I think I found the source of this concept. There was a book entitled “Fearful to Fearless” that promotes this idea. It takes verses that say “do not fear” and “fear not” along with verses that say “do not worry” and “be strong and courageous” and anything similar. Basically the concept is that God’s word says something about resisting fear each and every day in some way. I am not saying this book was the first to promote the idea but I can see where this thinking came from. There is a broad idea that we should live without fear in our daily lives and with a little editing you can come up with one verse for each day.
It is not true that the Bible says “do not fear” 365 times – one for each day of the year. I do believe that God wants us to live without fear but it does not help us to bend scripture out of proportion. We need to be honest in our reading, study and application of scripture. It is important that we live without fear but it is equally important that we live with honest truth from God’s word.
My ultimate hope is that whenever you hear something about God’s word that you check it out for yourself. Do a little reading and research. In the end good Bible knowledge will help reduce your fears better than cliché’s.