This, then, is addressed (primarily) to people of faith. In Christianity, Jesus says quite directly and specifically,
So do angelic messengers. So does God.
In other traditions, there are exhortations away from fear as well.
God does not fear. God, as we would understand, can and does, mourn, repent, rejoice, laugh. But God does not fear. And God exhorts us not to – fear – but notice what is said and what is not said.
What is not said is that there is nothing to be afraid of.
There are wolves.
Next to God, they just aren’t all that big.
And that, perhaps, is how the saints among us, ancient and modern, can stand up against their own fears with calm and even with joy – because next to God, a wolf is a small thing indeed.
Or maybe even more accurately, they simply see with a clarity the rest of us lack – the clarity that recognizes the wolf for what he is, but never, ever, ever, for more than what he is.
When I am frozen like a deer in the headlights, I am focused on the object of my fear to the exclusion of all else. Literally, I can see nothing but that fear.
When, however, I am focused on God, I can see nothing else, including my fears. And because I do not see them do they evaporate.
I may well be in real danger.
But I do not have to be afraid.
Wolves walk the land – every day. But they do not, they cannot, dictate my actions, my responses, unless I allow it – unless I stop looking at God and look only at them.
For when I awaken and direct my gaze to my Lord, it turns out that a wolf is just . . . merely . . . only . . . a wolf.
But no more.