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Nothing to Fear

By Mike Mccauley on
Mike Mccauley
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May 26 in Musings
The question came up spontaneously over a couple dinners with friends- what are you afraid of? Our answers ranged all over the place, most of them quite weighty. Some people talked about job fears- the potential of being out of work, or conversely, stuck in a job that sucked life out of them. Others mentioned common phobias- fear of heights, fear of public speaking, fear of flying. Many of us with kids talked about fears for their safety, or the influence of a confusing culture or doubts as to whether we had parented well.
What are you afraid of?  The field is wide and varied. Fear of physical safety, of terrorist attacks? The fear of being insignificant? Or alone? The truth is, we are all afraid of things. Sometimes those fears are rational, often they are not...but nonetheless very powerful. Sometimes it is good simply to name them, and bring them into the light of prayer or conversation. The Bible talks many times about fear. In fact, “Don’t be afraid...” is one of the most common things to come out of the mouth of God in scripture. Some people claim it appears several hundred times- I confess, I have not counted. But God does speak to his people about fear of enemies, fear that God won’t speak, fear of the unknown, fear of leaving home, fear of suffering, fear of dying, the terrors of the night, the threats of the day. Always the word from God is “Don’t be afraid...”  And it is often followed by “...for I am with you.”

I’m glad God speaks both phrases together. If it was only “Don’t be afraid,” it would sound like a cold commandment that didn’t deal with real life. But when God adds “I am with you,” there is both comfort and a solution. We don’t have to live in fear, because we are not alone. Never alone. God has promised, and been faithful in Christ’s incarnation and the presence of the Holy Spirit to living life with us, whatever the circumstances.

What are you afraid of?  Here’s the Psalmist’s answer:
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraidPsalm 27:1 
  
                See you soon,
                                    Pastor Dan

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