“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). With these words Jesus conveyed a key point in Christian faith, especially in healing.
Again and again the Master emphasized, and demonstrated practically, that the removal of fear is essential to the healing of disease and even death. To a man notified that his daughter had died, Jesus said, “Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole” (Luke 8:50). Soon the man saw his daughter alive and well.
“Fear not: believe only” is a powerful reassurance we can still take to heart today. The final chapter of Mary Baker Eddy’s insightful book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures contains testimonies from people who experienced healing while reading the book. Many mention release from fear. For instance, a reader who was cured of several serious health problems writes, “… I caught beautiful glimpses of Truth, which took away my fear and healed me of all those diseases, and they have never returned” (p. 602).
We, too, can enjoy our own beautiful glimpses of God, divine Truth, and thereby witness the melting of fear, with healing results. “When fear disappears, the foundation of disease is gone,” explains Science and Health (p. 368).
The book also points out: “Fear, which is an element of all disease, must be cast out to readjust the balance for God. Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God’s image” (p. 392).
The body isn’t fearful; it can’t think. So fear must be addressed in thought alone. Casting fear out involves taking antagonistic grounds against any suggestion, even a slight impression, that God or any of His spiritual creation is not intact and flawless. As the child of God, you are His image, and “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” This kingdom is completely governed by the supremely good and harmonious presence of God, and all that God is doing. Knowledge of the fact that your place in this kingdom is permanent is your basis for successfully banishing fear from your thought.
Take for example a friend of mine, a competitive swimmer. A couple of years ago she injured her knee and was having trouble walking. It looked as though she wouldn’t be able to compete in the next swim meet she’d been training for, since she couldn’t put any pressure on the knee. Having heard frequent locker-room chatter about injuries, she found herself overcome with fear, which was robbing her of the joy she usually took in swimming.
The wonderful truth of God’s all-presence and all-power is a firm basis for expelling fear.
“I’d been praying, studying, and holding to the truth regarding my intact, spiritual perfection,” she recalled, “but I realized something was missing. I needed more joy in my prayers.” Over the next few weeks she endeavored to keep her thought constantly in tune with God’s goodness—like having an ongoing conversation with God. It helped to affirm that she had never been an injured mortal but was always spiritual and safe in God’s kingdom.
“Thinking about how God created me perfect and indestructible, I became much more joyful,” she said. “I felt a shift in my thought, a turning point, and the fear was gone. I’d had some pretty dark moments, but now I could feel God’s presence with me, comforting and uplifting me.” Letting go of the fear brought healing. Soon she was able to walk and use her knee normally, and she went on to compete in a national swim meet a few weeks later.
What is the basis of fear? We fear only when we believe lies about God and God’s harmonious kingdom, lies that would suggest there is another presence that can harm, steal, or erode good. But as infinite Spirit, God is incapable of creating anything less than spiritual and perfect. To see that there is no threat of God’s spiritual creation ever being or becoming material and vulnerable to evil gives us the means to stand fearlessly. This wonderful truth of God’s all-presence and all-power is a firm basis for expelling fear.
As we pray, then, we do well to stay consciously aware of the invulnerability of our spiritual nature. In every corner of thought, we can acknowledge God’s presence, and ourselves as God’s purely good creation. Evil simply is no part of God or what God is doing.
Another helpful point to note is that there is no need to feel we must understand every single thing about God in order to pray effectively. At my city’s local aquarium, some of the fish swimming in the very biggest tank are blacktip sharks. The acrylic window, being eight inches thick, keeps the sharks and the people separated, and you never see anyone, even children, become afraid.
Most aquarium visitors don’t know much about the thickness and strength of that window, yet they remain confident and fearless. They trust the window even if they are largely ignorant of its specifications.
Similarly, we may not understand every detail of God’s nature, but because of what we do know, even if it is a simple truth, we trust confidently in God’s strength and constant presence. As a result, if we see things that appear dangerous, we are calm, knowing that threats are lies that have no real power, so our safety is assured.
Clearly, continuing to believe a lie won’t relieve us of fear. And telling ourselves not to fear a fearsome thing won’t do so, either. But divine Truth known and deeply embraced relieves us of fear. It is impossible to know Truth and at the same time be afraid.
Now is as good a time as any to accept Jesus’ timeless promise to all mankind, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” We can even relish exchanging false fears for Truth, and seeing fear melt. In this way we prove for ourselves that glimpsing God’s all-power naturally cultivates a solid confidence in God that heals.