Several men recently attempted to row their boat across Tustumena Lake.
A sudden storm blew up as they slowly made their way across the water. The waves on the surface of the lake became rough as the winds increased. The small boat made little headway in spite of their hard work at the oars.
Suddenly, they saw a strange sight out on the water. A figure approached their boat, walking on the waves! Astonishment was replaced by fear as what appeared to be a man approached. They wondered what it was. An apparition? A ghost?
Then, over the roar of the wind and the crash of the waves, they heard him speak, "Be not afraid."
He stepped aboard the boat, which quickly arrived at shore. Fear was now displaced by astonishment for the men on board who experienced the amazing event.
Does the Gospel story of Jesus walking on the water become any more believable if it is placed in a modern setting? Probably not. What is timeless though is the statement of Jesus, "Be not afraid."
Fear is a human problem and has been down through the centuries. Many superstitions and beliefs of man are instigated by fear. God, as our maker, understands that tendency about us. Perhaps that is why the most frequently found command from the lips of the Lord is "Fear not."
Recent acts of terrorism in our nation have resulted in widespread fear. Terrorist actions are designed to elicit a fear response from the population at which they are aimed.
The Bible predicts "perilous times" that will occur in the last days. This proliferation of violence is now accented by threats of terrorism.
But unity and patriotism have resulted from these threats, as well.
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself," said former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Fortunately, more than patriotic fervor and words are available to us today.
God's word accurately sums it up: "fear hath torment." However, the solution is offered in that, "There is no fear in love" and "perfect love casteth out fear." I John 4:18
His love for us is unlimited, uplifting and liberating. We are better able to face circumstances and situations of life when fortified by his love.
It is this amazing love that offers the new birth experience that changes our lives positively. His abiding presence in the Spirit is a great comfort.
The name of Jesus causes fear and trembling among the host of hell. When the devil attacks your faith with doubt and deceit, take refuge in the hand of the Lord. Hear his words "Fear not." Claim that promise and make it yours.
Twice in John 14 the Lord said, "Let not your heart be troubled." The second time he added the words, "neither let it be afraid." He gave the promise of a prepared place.
Our responsibility is to be prepared for that place in heaven. Don't let fear hold you back from receiving and walking in God's promises and presence.
Mitch Glover is the pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church on Swanson River Road. He invites the public to join in worshiping the one who commands "Fear not."
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