Friday, 03 December 2021

With Jesus you can forget your fears

HAVE a guess: What do you think the most often repeated command in the Bible is?

Or, to put it another way, what is it that we are so bad at doing that it needs to be repeated more than any other instruction?

The answer is this: do not be afraid.

These are words that get to the very heart of our experience as limited, often out of control, human beings.

Of course, fear is not wholly bad. As an instinct, it can warn and protect us.

However, fear and anxiety often have a way of growing out of proportion and can control us in significant and detrimental ways.

The God revealed in the Bible holds out for us a life no longer controlled by our fears; a life that most of us, with our many low-level and sometimes more significant fears, would snatch up if we could.

Here are some words from psalm 103

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

God knows how limited we are and has compassion on us. Interestingly, he calls us to fear him. Not in an abject or servile sense, but with an overwhelming sense of respect and awe at just how much bigger and purer he is than us.

When we realise that God is both the majestic creator of all, and a father to his children, it can drive out our other fears. Fear is replaced by trust.

For the Christian, the heart of this trust is focused on Jesus, who through his death on the cross and resurrection defeated the ultimate enemies that we have the least control over: judgement for our sins and death.

If Christ has borne in our place the judgement and death we deserve, and the source of our ultimate fear, then we can trust him also with our lesser fears.

And those who have come to trust in Jesus personally will testify to the amazing peace that he brings even in the face of the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that life continues to throw our way.

This same Jesus holds his arms out to you today, and invites you: do not be afraid.

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