Through Zephaniah the people are reminded: do not fear. This is a common command throughout the Bible. Fear is a natural instinct. It warns and protects us when we may be in danger or when we are in a situation that is unknown. But for some fear is more constant and can be debilitating. It can cause panic and can make one freeze up, unable to respond.
When we allow fear to become unhealthy or to give it too much attention, then we run the risk of not being present because we are focused on the future and what may happen to us. Then we run the risk of missing out on the small joys of life and on experiencing God’s presence with us in the day to day of life.
In today’s passage and throughout the scriptures we are reminded over and over not to be afraid because God is with us. When our fear goes beyond a natural reaction to a present threat, we are allowing fear to replace our trust and faith in God. In the Word we are reminded that if we allow Him to, God will act on our behalf and will be our protector, provider, and guide. If we seek Him and trust in Him, God will be in our midst. God desires to be in relationship with us.
We can rejoice because God is with us. We can set aside our fears because God is with us. We can focus then on living the life that God intends for us – fully living in and with His love. Then God will rejoice as well!
Scripture reference: Zephaniah 3: 14-20