Fear Not
It's what you scatter

I’ve never counted myself, but I’ve heard it said that the phrase “Fear not” occurs 365 times in the Bible. How interesting that it occurs once for every day of the year. No matter what’s happening, we are encouraged to be not afraid. Why is that do you think? I think it’s for a couple of reasons.

Let me begin by saying that God wouldn’t communicate the message to be not afraid unless we had a propensity toward fear in the first place. So, if you’re scared. Don’t feel bad. What I have to share isn’t meant to shame you; it’s meant to encourage you.

As you and I encounter life circumstances, we are bound to come across some that are outside of our control – like the COVID-19 virus that’s going on right now. It’s normal to experience uncomfortable feelings when something like a pandemic confronts us. We’re able to take some positive action, like social distancing, but none of us is in complete control of the present reality. But fear not, God is in control. God knows our needs better than we do, and he is highly skilled in the art of redemption. As you read this, God is working in and through people in our own community and across the world to accomplish good out of this seeming chaos. We need to make sure we are not panicking, but keep a reasoned mind, so that we can make ourselves available to God for his use; and, then also watch for the Christ-like behaviors in others, and give God praise for them.

Here’s another idea equal in importance to the one above. You and I do not live as a people who are without hope. We live in the light of the resurrection. In the life that we live each day on this earth as Christians, our actions and thoughts should be characterized by the victory of the resurrection of Christ. But also, you and I have a hope in the next life that others don’t possess. While we’re being assured that most people who are exposed to this coronavirus will recover, some will not. But remember, when we cease to exist in this life we claim with joy that we will live forever in the presence of the Triune God.

You might disagree with me, but I believe that in these modern days, we have almost turned the idea of life on this earth into a god. We spend extravagant amounts of money, time, and worry, not only on preserving life, but on preserving our youth as long as possible. I dare say that many of us are afraid to die.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not offering to lead a load of folks to heaven right now. I like being alive, and I have a lot I want to do. I want to see my girls find godly men and make families for themselves. I want to spend more years with Sarah. And there are an abundance of places in the world that I would like to see before I die. But with that said, I must face the possibility of death with the hope that has come to me through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am called to face life … and death … with the hope of the resurrection burning brightly inside my soul.

The bottom line is this: In the face of fearsome realities, it is natural for us to experience anxiety, even fear. And while the Scriptures tell us … even command us … to “fear not,” those words come to us not to chastise us, but to point us toward our hope. We are pointed toward the God who comes to us in the midst of the chaotic darkness and says, “I am the Light of the world. Don’t be afraid of the darkness, for I have overcome the dark forces of this world, and I have purchased through the sacrifice of my body and blood, a hope for you that is beyond your imagination. Trust me, for I will never leave nor forsake you.” So, do what you are able to do, and are called by God to do, in the midst of something like our present crisis. Allow God to use you in unexpected ways. And at the same time, remember to be not afraid for God is with us in this world, and in the next.

Grace and peace, 

- Pastor Ross

Last Published: March 18, 2020 3:22 PM
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