Do Not Be Afraid

Thursday, December 21, 2017
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Listen while you read: "O Holy Night"1 (Lyrics)

In November of 2011, I was told that the aortic pig valve in my heart, which had been placed there in 1993, was leaking badly and had to be replaced. Even though it had lasted much longer than I had been told to expect, it still came as a shock to me. I was feeling so well, and I did not have any symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pains. But the echo cardiogram did not lie, and I was afraid. After all, I was 18 years older, and this time, I knew what was coming. From the first time, I knew all about the pain, the agony, and the chance infection that I'd had, and I realized that I had to go through it again. During the months of November and December, I had a series of tests, saw the surgeon, and did the things which needed to be done in preparation.

During that time, we were also preparing for the Christmas season with its related church and Long Term Care Centre activities. While reading the Bible, I noticed again that the people involved in the announcements about the coming of the Messiah and the birth of Christ were all told not to be afraid.

Luke 1:13 – But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John." (NKJV)

Luke 1:30 – Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (NKJV)

Luke 2:10 – Then the angel said to [the shepherds], "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." (NKJV)

However, the words, "Do not be afraid", spoken so long ago to those particular people, have a much broader meaning: they can be heard and applied by all who believe. Do not be afraid of the future; don't let fear eat away at you. If you are fearing a difficult time, if you are facing a hard time in your life, be assured that whatever happens, the Lord will hold your hand and lead you.

Isaiah 41:13 – For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you." (NKJV)

Thanks be to God for this wonderful assurance.

During the period leading up to the operation, we talked about it to many people at our local church and the churches where I was leading the services, and the people were praying for me. The operation took place on January 6th, 2012, and it went well.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times in our lives when we fear events that are facing us or that might happen. We thank You for the assurance that whatever happens, You are with us, and we thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    An encouraging word, Joel. Merry Christmas.

    Dear Joel
    I enjoyed your devotional ” Do Not Be Afraid”.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and the lessons learned with us. Praying your good health continues. Blessings.

    A wonderful, inspirational devotional which is so helpful to many people at this time of year, in particular.

    Good word today Joel. I hope this procedure will not be something that has to yet again be repeated!
    Christmas Blessings.

    Joel, thank you so much for this encouraging message. It spoke to my heart.
    Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season.
    Peace and Blessings.

    Dear Joel & Greta:
    Your devotional posted today was very helpful for me, as this morning I got a distressing call from the hospital.

    Thank you, Joel. Among my favorite hymns are “Be Not Afraid” and “Here I Am Lord” which I often “sing” in my mind in times of uncertainty.
    May you and all your loved ones have a Peaceful, Healthy Christmas that extends throughout the entire New Year.

    Once again, thank you for sharing Joel. You have had such a full and colorful life. I love that you have overcome much, with God’s help, and are able to reassure others with your messages of hope and endurance.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours,

    Dear Joel,
    I have always enjoyed your devotions and you sharing your experiences.
    Health care has come a long way and God’s will be done.
    Peace to your home…
    Joy to your heart,
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Hi Joel
    Thanks. This is the very reminder I need for today. I have developed an inordinate fear of driving in snow due to whip lash from accidents in this type of weather. Despite the fact that I have snow tires I am still very nervous so avoid driving in snow whenever I can. However, today I must drive to a doctor’s appt. so am putting all my trust in His promises. This devotional says Amen.

    “Do not be afraid” are powerful words. Many years ago before seat belts, I would open the doors to whatever vehicle we had and said ok kids “lets go to Bible School”. They learned many things but this day it was “I Will Trust and Not be Afraid” the one niece was terrified of street cleaners when I took them home I had to park on a busy street. As we walked to their home I held her hand as I knew how terrified she was. All the way she kept saying the verse she learned that day “I will Trust and not be Afraid.” All these years later she remembers that verse and me holding her. She is amazed at how this has stayed with her.
    Your surgery is as they say about when we get old its not for sissies.
    Glad you did well on the surgery. You had many devotionals to write yet.
    Thank you we enjoy your writing.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for your story about your heart problems. That must have been so scary.
    I also have heart problems and have had several heart attacks, but I am thankful that I have those behind me now.
    I always look forward to your messages.
    Many thanks and God bless you and your family this Christmas season.

    Thank you for your devotion.
    I am unable to attend our Christmas Eve service. I have never missed it.
    I appreciated your circumstances and related to it.
    I know whatever happens God will always be there for me.
    My surgery went fine and healing seems to progressing faster than I had expected. I know I was included in a lot of people’s prayers and I felt their love and friendship. I thank God for easing my mind.
    Thanks again and God bless you and your family.

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