Coming from a family where I was the oldest of five children, I just assumed my husband and I would easily begin having children soon after our wedding day. Our hopes began to fade however as month after long month passed with no joyful news. One morning, however, my hair stylist asked, “Have you had a baby recently?” I was shocked. She explained that the quality of my hair indicated that my body had experienced a rush of hormones, leaving her to wonder whether I’d recently given birth. I hadn’t, of course, but I soon found out I was pregnant—with twins! In the midst of my fear and sadness I heard news that ignited hope of a future filled with joy.

More than 2,000 years ago, a group of frightened shepherds received some good news that calmed their fears, restored their hopes, and brought them great joy.

The men were on the night shift, guarding their sheep. Perhaps they were huddled around a fire sharing stories when the sky lit up and an angel of the Lord appeared to the stunned men (Luke 2:8-9). “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:10-11).

God announced the birth of His Son to a group of humble shepherds—men who were marginalized by the social and religious elite of the day. In an instant, God dispelled their fear and weakness as the host of heaven declared, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

As you consider the joy of the good news of “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), may you too find in Him freedom from all your fears.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18