I love the childrens programs this time of the year. There are always plenty of children to act out the roles of shepherds, wise men, sheep, cattle, Mary & Joseph...and don't forget the angels. Gracie played an angel in our church program a few weeks ago and had more fun with the costume than should be allowed. She really thought once she put the wings on, she was immediately transformed to an angelic state of mind. When I asked her what did the angels say when Jesus was born, I thought she would say something like "Glory to God" or "Jesus is born"; something like that. But the thing that stuck out in her mind the angels said was "Fear not!".
Have you ever noticed when God had good news to give to someone, He sent His angels to proclaim "Fear not"? Obviously, seeing an angel was enough to bring anyone to their knees, but God wanted to let it be known He had good news to share in the middle of adversity. When Mary was told she would bear God's Son, the angel told her "Fear not" (Luke 1:30); when the shepherds saw the star announcing Jesus' birth, the angel told them "Fear not" (Luke 2:10); when Isaiah learned of the job he had before him in being a helper to Israel, he was told "Do not fear" (Isaiah 41:10). In all of these examples, as well as many others, I noticed God always had a plan to deliver the person He was talking to. He didn't make them shake in their boots for nothing! God wanted them to know that He understood their concern and their anxiety, but He would see them through it all.
Hebrews 13:5-6 says it best, "God Himself has said He will not in way fail me nor give me up not leave me without support. He will not in any degree leave me helpless nor forsake me let me down. So I take comfort and am encouraged and confidently and boldly say, 'The Lord is my Helper. I will not be seized with alarm.'"