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April 2024

Pastor’s Perspective – April 2024


Why Are You Afraid?


Are you afraid of spiders?  How about heights?  Are you afraid of growing old?  Speaking in public?

Everyone is afraid of something.  Some people fear the things that go bump in the night.  A fear of spiders might make you avoid the garage or the laundry room, but it won’t typically impede your ability to hold a job or raise a family. But what happens when the things that you are afraid of get in the way of reaching your dreams? What can we do when fear stops you from being the person that God wants you to be?

The Bible instructs us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  This is faithful instruction that Christians would be wise to follow. We are often more afraid of the world than we are of God.  If we are more concerned about disappointing our friends on earth than disobeying our Father in heaven, then we are afraid of the wrong things. This misplaced fear will undermine our best inclinations and interests and injure the work of God in our lives.

Each of us must face our fears to experience a peaceful and joyous life in Jesus.  The crucifixion of Jesus teaches us that God wants us to push through difficulty and fear to discover resurrection and true life, a path that was also walked by the disciples, prophets, and patriarchs.

The promise of God in Jesus Christ is resurrection after death, not ease in life.  What this means for followers of Jesus is that we need to be ready to help and encourage our brothers and sisters when they are defeated and afraid. In the same way we will need our brothers and sisters to hold our hands and remind us that God holds the victory even when we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Sometimes we will even need a swift kick in the rear to remind us that the Holy Spirit has given us all that we need to follow the path that Jesus has set for us in life.

Jesus told us that facing our fears and picking up our cross was the path to the Kingdom. While our obedience (our cross) does not change the world in the way that Jesus did, it does make a world of difference in our lives and our ministries. When we die to self and rise into new life in Christ, we have the power to face our fears and conquer them through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This does not mean that we will never again encounter a spider, a bat, or a difficult presentation, but that God will give us the courage (and help through the Church) to face our fears and overcome the paralysis that impedes our lives.

Once we acknowledge that Jesus has conquered death itself, then what do we have to fear?  Only fear itself.  While it might be possible to face this alone, we are not left alone in Christ.  We are given the Holy Spirit and the Church, to give us confidence and encouragement.

It is Easter time, Jesus has risen!  And death has been defeated.  Let us live like those who fear ONLY God.

Pastor Dan