Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do Not Be Afraid?

I don’t know how many times the Bible says “Do not be afraid,” but it must be over a hundred! When Jesus walked on water, the Bible says, They cried out in terror… Jesus spoke to them at once, ‘Don’t be afraid. Take courage! I am here!’" (Mark 6:49-50). The Angel from God told Mary and Joseph not to be afraid. Jesus told the disciples not to be afraid after the Resurrection. God said to Paul and Joshua and Abram and Moses and Daniel – everyone – “Do not be afraid.”

In Isaiah 43:5, He says, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

I mean, you get where I’m going with this – God clearly doesn’t want us to be afraid.

In my devotional book, Hope for Each Day, by Billy Graham (its awesome by the way!), it says that, “in the midst of a world filled with danger, hatred, and war, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ are just as relevant as when He spoke them. He still says to all who love Him, ‘Do not be afraid.’”

Well why not? Why shouldn’t we be afraid – we just listed off a bunch of things to be afraid of – danger, hatred, war… we can add: the economy, sickness, new adventures, hard classes, failure, finding a job, losing a child, losing a parent…you fill in the blank.

BUT, He says, “Don’t be afraid. I’m alive and I’m here for you.” I think this is pretty powerful -Billy Graham says:
The Cross shows the depth of His love and the Resurrection shows the depth of his power. Nothing can ever separate Him from us. Nothing.
Romans 8 says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him… If God is for us, who can be against us?” God sacrificed Jesus for us; Jesus died and was raised to life for us. God created us. God created Earth and all that it holds. God has power. God IS power. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? When I think about it, everything else (danger, hatred, war…) seems pretty insignificant compared to God and His love for us.

I lift up my eyes to the hills –
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip –

he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you –

the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm –

he will watch over your life;
The LORD will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.
-- Psalm 121:1-8

This is just what was making me think tonight after my devotional...

I hope your day is blessed!

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