“And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, ‘Get up, and do not be afraid.'” (Matthew 17:7 NASB)
There are many times in Scripture when Jesus said, “Fear not. Don’t be afraid.” These are commands that indicate the choice is ours to make. I’m sure I’m not alone in struggling with this. Fear has a tendency to overtake and overwhelm. It is a powerful emotion. But, it is just that: an emotion. Most of us are often convinced that emotions happen to us, that we cannot control them. This notion, however, is a lie. One that our Enemy, the father of lies, perpetrates.
If you have been with me in recent years, you will remember that I have written before regarding the function of emotion as an indicator of what is truly going on in our hearts and minds. For this reason, an open and honest communication with God about our feelings is crucial to our receiving His perfect love, which casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) The Psalms teach us the veracity of crying out to God in the midst of sorrow, anguish, and even anger. Emptying ourselves in order to be filled with praise and worship.
God has given us the power to choose. The gift of free will. We can choose not to be governed by our fears. We can exchange fear for faith, and faith is always the best choice. Faith enables us to get up, to keep moving, to set our face toward finishing our race. There is joy that is set before us, and we can be about the business of embracing that destiny.
Lest you think I speak only in platitudes, let me assure you that this message has very specific implications for me and my family. My husband recently received a medical diagnosis that will change the way we face life on a daily basis. While it cannot be cured (apart from a divine and miraculous intervention), there are medications that can address some of the symptoms. Even with that, we must learn to take one day at a time and be willing to pivot when things don’t go the way we planned. We are grateful for the Holy Spirit and the conviction that if we yield He will guide us into the purposes of God, not matter what the day holds.
If you are facing something right now that makes your insides tremble and your mind race, take heart and believe. Build yourself up on your most holy faith, looking to the mercy of God and eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21) Eternity with God and with all His faithful ones is a reality that can be the substance of your life today.
Until next week, beloved, be filled with the strength of His joy, and embrace Life.