The word for this week is 'fear'.
It originates from the Greek & Latin--'phobia'. Fear is a word used in some form over 500 times in scripture. The term 'fear not' OR 'be not afraid' is used 365 times; one for each day of the year. Isn't that interesting?
There are things we should fear and there are things we should 'fear not'.
For clarification--I am not referring to a person's fear of God which is one's reverent response of Holiness.
Fear, as defined for this article means 'the extreme or irrational response to or dislike of a specified group or thing.' Fear is something most every human being experiences on some level at some point in their earthly life. For some, it passes very quickly and for others it lingers far too long. Some fear the water--hydrophobia. Some fear technology--technophobia. Some fear marriage--gamophobia. Some fear high places--acrophobia. Some fear germs--bacteriophobia. Some fear close places--claustrophobia. Some fear church--ecclesiophobia. Some even fear, fear--phobophobia while others fear the future--chronophobia.
For everything we face in this life, there seems to be a 'phobia' to go along with it.
Fear can be paralyzing OR fear can be motivating. You and I can be scared to death of something OR we can be scared 'straight' from something. In either case, our full attention is given in the moment.
One of the greatest fears that human beings experience and at times express is the fear of death. All of us have at one point related to such fear. Death is seen as final, the end of something. And no one likes to experience the end of something they prize and truly enjoy!
Truth is, we pursue what we prize and most tend to possess or be possessed with what we pursue. Should I prize what is temporal, then I fear it becoming obsolete and more especially its loss. I tend to grip too tightly what must be held loosely and treat to lightly what must be treated seriously.
Our lives are but a vapor on this earth, too soon passing away. And many fear its passing. The good news however is that while the temporal nature of this life indeed passes away, God has provided a much more enjoyable and enduring life through Christ that shall never pass away.
Fear of death can be overwhelming for those who have no hope of a future through salvation in Christ. Many cling to what they can't keep for short-lived peace of mind. But for those who 'fear not', death becomes a door instead of a dead end.
Because of the promise of God in Jesus Christ confirmed by the active presence of the Holy Spirit, life is much more fulfilling because the believer knows with assurance that in death, only the bad passes away. The good and the best remain forevermore to be enjoyed hereafter.
The only way to overcome 'fear' is to demonstrate faith. Not faith in just anything or anyone but faith in the only One who can remove your fear. That person is Jesus Christ and His presence provides peace that God says surpasses all understanding.
Psalm 23:4 says-- "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
Those words make the difference when I feel threatened or overwhelmed by fear. Jesus faced His fears in the garden of Gethsemane and overcame them through obedience to His Father's will. So may we, in our obedience to His word.
In FDR'S first inaugural address to the nation of America, he is quoted as saying “the only thing we have to fear Is fear Itself”. In Jesus last ministerial address to those who chose to follow Him, He is quoted as saying -"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
That's a much better deal than the 'new deal' promised by men.
When a person fears (reveres) the Lord--they need fear (be afraid of) nothing else.
Therefore, the word for this Wednesday and this week is 'fear not' as you 'faith in' Jesus!
May the Lord bless you richly this week!
1 Corinthians 15:58