Fear is like the monster under my kids’ beds — its power is fueled not by what’s really there, but by what might be, what we imagine could be. Fear is a hollow darkness in the future that reaches back through time to rob our joy now by belittling the sovereign goodness of God.

But if we are in Christ, if we cling to him by faith, we don’t have to fear. Really, we don’t.

John Piper explains why in a 2001 letter he wrote to the people of Bethlehem. The point of the letter is to highlight several promises in the Bible that we can remember when the temptation of fear assaults us.

13 Reasons Not to Be Afraid

  1. We will not die apart from God’s gracious decree for his children.

    James 4:14-15; Matthew 10:29-30; Deuteronomy 32:39

  2. Curses and divination do not hold sway against God’s people.

    Numbers 23:23

  3. The plans of terrorists and hostile nations do not succeed apart from our gracious God.

    Psalm 33:10; Isaiah 8:9-10

  4. Man cannot harm us beyond God’s gracious will for us.

    Psalm 118:6; Psalm 56:11

  5. God promises to protect his own from all that is not finally good for them.

    Psalm 91:14

  6. God promises to give us all we need to obey, enjoy, and honor him forever.

    Matthew 6:31; Philippians 4:19

  7. God is never taken off guard.

    Psalm 121:4

  8. God will be with us, help us, and uphold us in trouble.

    Isaiah 41:10, 13

  9. Terrors will come, some of us will die, but not a hair of our heads will perish.

    Luke 21:10–11, 18

  10. Nothing befalls God’s own but in its appointed hour.

    John 7:30

  11. When God Almighty is your helper, none can harm you beyond what he decrees.

    Hebrews 13:6; Romans 8:31

  12. God’s faithfulness is based on the firm value of his name, not the fickle measure of our obedience.

    1 Samuel 12:20–22

  13. The Lord, our protector, is great and awesome.

    Nehemiah 4:14

Thumb jonathan parnellJonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their five children. He is co-editor of Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice.