We arrived at our drive-in church service early last week, as we always do, to get a spot from which we can hear and see our pastor teach. The precious old hymns of the faith were uplifting.
Then Pastor Tim began to speak.
“As the elders and I prayed together this morning, each of the seven prayed about the fear people are feeling in these days of insecurity! Each of the seven. And I thought, ‘this needs to be addressed.'”
Fear is prevalent in our world, with the coronavirus, political divisions and hatemongering, ongoing fires, a country divided, and many unknowns.
- What will be the results of the upcoming election, and how will those impact us and our society?
- When will our current fires get controlled, and how many more fires will begin before fire season ends?
- Will I, or someone I love, become ill with Covid-19? Will someone I love be hospitalized and die while I can’t be with him/her?
- Will my child be able to learn remotely? And when will our children, and we, return to a more normal life?
- When can our children return to Sunday school, Kids Club, and other after school activities?
- If I teach remotely, will my teaching be effective?
Tim had a sermon prepared; but he set that aside and spoke to us about fear instead. He said that in the Bible, we’re told not to fear 365 times – that’s once for every day of the year!
Tim reminded us that if we live in fear, we cannot be a light to those around us. And if we don’t check anxiety, it runs us! Meaningful words for me.
II Timothy 1:7 tells us “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Fear is not from God and we need to rebuke it in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Oh, fear can be a warning; but God never meant for us to live in fear for the future.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.I John 4:18-19
When Jesus’ disciples watched Him die in agony on the cross, they thought their world had collapsed. Hopes were dashed. They were in despair, depressed, downhearted. Their leader, the one they believed to be the Messiah, was dead. Hopes dashed. Reality set in.
But three days later reality was upended when there was resurrection, just as He had promised! Even though Jesus had told them He would rise again, they were shocked and, at first, unbelieving that this could be their Savior, their Messiah, risen from the dead.
How like us when we face critical times. God has promised never to leave nor forsake us, to carry and sustain us. But when things look darkest, we forget that resurrection is coming. Christ WILL take us home to be with Him, regardless of what comes before. We can’t SEE that, don’t KNOW that because we’ve not been there yet.
But that’s where faith comes in, doesn’t it? The disciples despaired at Jesus’ death. But they they were filled with joy at His resurrection. He had spoken truth, had been fully faithful in all He told them before His death.
It is critical that we seek our God during this very uncomfortable year! He who has told us to bring all our burdens to Him, is the One who sustains, upholds, rescues, and delivers us from fear. As we focus our eyes on Him rather than the problems around us, we can experience His peace in whatever situation He allows to come our way.
For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.Isaiah 41:9b-10
How are you experiencing God’s peace in the storm around us? I’d love to hear about it. And if you are dealing with fear, I’d love to pray for you. May God bless you as you enter a new week with the Presence and Power of Jesus in all you do.