Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Musings062710,Are Your Fears Too Much? by John

"Fear not..." Jesus said a number of times in the Gospels, yet most of us today fear often. Some live in a state of fear because of their government or because of their enemies. Some fear for no known reason at all.

All Israel feared the Philistines, particularly Goliath. David didn't, and God made him capable of providing a victory that gave Israel the encouragement needed to overcome the Philistines and their fear.

When we say people intimidate us, we are really saying we are afraid of them. Goliath's size intimidated the Israelites. Sometimes we are intimidated by the size of a house or car payment. One of the biggest fears brought on by our own appetites is credit card indebtedness.

It's a different source, but many fear global warming. Others fear population explosion. Still others fear what will happen if the opposing party gets the Presidency or a majority in House or Senate.

Still others of us constantly worry because we are afraid we aren't keeping up our public image. That's what makes the British comedy, "Keeping Up Appearances," so popular. We see ourselves in it. Still others are afraid their past will be found out.

All of these fears are very real, even the ones that are real only in our minds. We need to deal with them, but some are extremely hard to deal with. I suspect Joan D' Arc experienced fear in battle, in ecclesiastical court and while being burned at the stake. I guess we will never know for sure, but put yourself in her place. Wouldn't you be afraid? Wouldn't you dread what you knew was going to happen next? I am sure I would. Something like that can only be experienced. Someone else is handling it.

The Old Testament tells us numbers of times that the Lord caused great fear to fall on Israel's enemies. I doubt any of those enemies could handle their fear at all, but what about us. Can we handle our fears?

I read recently that a hero is someone who in spite of danger, or his fear, accomplishes what needs to be done. One of my seminary professors who had cancer wrote a book about facing our fears. The cancer took his life, but he was victorious over his fears.

His life was in the wonderfully capable hands of God! And that's the greatest remedy for fear! Do you suppose that is sufficient?

Jesus told those who followed and loved Him many times to not be afraid. On one of those occasions, He said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28). A healthy fear of God is right. In this instance, fear means holy awe. God is the Eternal Creator, and in the verses following, Jesus told them His Father set a high value on each one of us. John3: 16 tells us God loves His whole creation so much that He sent Jesus to die in our place, so that we never will die spiritually. We will spend eternity with God as His children according to Romans 8:16,17, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." If that doesn't convince us, I Thessalonians tells us the resurrection will take place, and, "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."
Fear is awesome in its power to rob us of our happiness and of our power to accomplish so many things in life, but the answer to it all is in Jesus. He is our life, and when we consciously place our trust in Him, He lifts us up and holds us in His hand as He tells us in John 10:27-30, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

When Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you will still experience fear for sundry reasons, but regardless of the danger you will be safe forever!


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