Monday, December 16, 2013

Day 10: Luke 2:10

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. -Luke 2:10

Do not be afraid.

The NIV translation of the Bible has the phrase "Do not be afraid" or some close permutation of that over eighty times throughout the scriptures.  Yet fear among Christians is still ubiquitous.  We can try to tell ourselves that we are not fearful people and that fear does not rule our lives.  But if we reach deep down, we each have fears that threaten to control various aspects of our life.

What is it that you fear?  Failure?  Loss of control?  Loneliness?  Not being liked?  Poor health?  The unknown?  Being fearful?

Without hope in something greater, we can't hope but to succumb to our fears.  And we can make that "something greater" a number of different things.  Some put all their hope in their own greatness, others put their hope in their government and still others put their hope in their bank accounts.  Any earthly version of "something greater" that someone puts their hope in will eventually disappoint them and become anything but good news.

So what exactly is this "good news" that allows us leave our fears by the wayside?  It's that we now have a Messiah, a Savior, someone who will go to the Cross for us in our place, even though we deserve to be crucified because of our sin.  We can now have eternal life and have access to a "higher power" that is worthy of our hope and who will be worthy of that hope for all eternity.  We need not fear anything because our God is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.  There is no one greater than Him and there is nothing we should fear when we submit to Him as our King.

But still there are many of us who have, at least in some areas, submitted to Jesus as our King, yet have fears controlling us in other areas.  How do we follow this admonition to not fear?

It comes down to risk, faith and trust.  Is it worth the risk, based on our amount of faith in Him, to trust Him to protect us, bless us and turn all things into good for us?  Trust in the true Almighty God cannot coexist with fear.  If we trust in God and still fear, then we aren't trusting God to be who He says He is.  Sure, life will not always be pain free, but God does promise it to be for our good.  He may not give us everything we want, but He will give us everything He wants us to have to do and become who He wants us to be.  And He promises that His way is always perfect and that His plan for us is always better than our plan for us.

Take a risk, exercise your faith, and trust God in a way that makes your fear seem illogical.  The eternal Savior that gives us hope and allows us to trust God in a way that destroys all fear is the good news that will bring us great joy.  It will set us free and give us liberty in Christ to live the life He wants us to walk.

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