After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:“Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward.” (NIV)
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (NKJV)
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (KJV)
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” (ESV)
From the very beginning, the Lord has had our back. While you go through your life each and every day, you are to be encouraged that the Lord has your back. When God told Abram, "Do not be afraid", he did not mean to not be nervous or to not have anxiety. What he meant was for Abram to keep the bigger picture in mind. That bigger picture is that Abram would not only have a baby, but that he would begin the lineage and the history that would eventually save the world. Wow, what a big picture that is.
When someone tells you, "Don't worry" or "Don't be afraid", we think small time. We like to think about what the current and immediate situation is showing. So, like Abram who went to the bed of a servant girl, we try and begin "fixing" the problems that are in front of us. Instead, we need to shift that thinking to, What is the bigger picture? There is always a larger picture. Is that meeting at work important, absolutely, but what could be further down the road for you? We can not always see the bigger picture at the time, but we must have faith that there is a bigger picture that is playing out in the world.
Will this thinking help you to not have the bear the wrath of your boss when you walk in late to the meeting? Nope. It will however, help you to be able to take a deeper breath and to stand there and accept whatever earthly punishment that you may receive. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-28, Paul shows us that these earthly punishments may be severe.
24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[a] in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.There is no assurance that you will have a happy and wonderful and gleeful life on this earth; however, there is a bigger picture being played out on the cosmic level. Take solace in the fact that you are a player in the greatest play ever written. You may not know what will happen in the next scene, but your scene is integral in progressing to the next, and the next is going to be glorious!