Sovereign God, thank you for the blessing of this day. You have walked with me, guided my steps and shown me grace. I know I haven’t deserved all that you have done for me but you have given me an abundance of blessings and allowed me to share them. For where I’ve failed or stumbled, forgive me. Give me rest, renew within me a right spirit. In the name of Jesus. Amen
Daily Archives: July 16, 2021
Psalm 103:11-13 (ESV)
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Matthew 10:24-33 (ESV)
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
Have No Fear
26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
“Do not be afraid” (Matthew 20:26).
Psychologists tell us about the three common reactions to a frightening situation. We will (a) choose to face the situation and work through it, (b) shut down and do nothing at all, or (c) run away from the problem. In other words, fight, freeze, or flee.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells his disciples three times, “Do not be afraid.” Each time, he addresses the fears that could cause them to give up on their very first preaching mission. First, he tells them to be persistent in announcing the “secret” of the kingdom despite opposition (Matthew 10:26). Then he reassures them that his Father is the One with ultimate power, so they shouldn’t worry about detractors (10:28). Then he tells them that his Father knows every intimate detail of their lives and that he’ll never abandon them (10:29-31).
Jesus isn’t just comforting his disciples here. He’s giving them truths that they can fall back on whenever fear rises up and tries to convince them to give up on their mission. He’s filling their memories with foundational truths about who he is and how much his Father cares for them – truths that they can use as weapons to defend themselves and as engines to propel them forward in faith.
We have all encountered fears that have threatened to paralyze us or tempted us to run and hide. Fear is a normal part of our lives, and there are times when it’s a healthy emotional reaction. But we should never let fear keep us from moving forward with the Lord.
Whenever you find yourself in a fearful situation, try your best to step back, take a few deep breaths, and remember the truths of your faith. Remember Jesus’ cross and resurrection. Remember your Father’s love and protection. Remember the Holy Spirit lives in you. Remember that you belong to Christ and he will never abandon you. Remember, remember, remember!
As you practice this holy remembering, you’ll feel the Lord standing right beside you. You’ll find the courage to fight your fears and to take the next step forward, whatever your situation. God doesn’t want you to be afraid. He wants you to find all your confidence in him!
Jesus, help me to hold onto my faith when I am afraid. Lord, I trust in your unending love! Amen.