Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Remaining "Fear" Verses

It's been a while, and we've studied a lot of "fear" verses - all the Old Testament ones & some in the New Testament. I like to finish what I start; but I feel that God is leading me in a different direction. First, I've gotten a good deal busier lately - what with college & volunteering & goats & all.  It seems, also, that God has brought me a long way with the fear issue and that my focus needs to make a turn from that to the current issue - which seems to be learning to love as fully, as lavishly, and as broadly as He does.
But let's kind of finish the job - let's at least get all the verses out there so we can see what they are.

Mark 5:36 - As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Mark 6:50 - For they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Luke 1:13 - But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

Luke 1:30 - Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Luke 1:50 - And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.

Luke 1:74 - To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,

Luke 2:9-10 - And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

Luke 5:10 - And so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”

Luke 8:50 - But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”

Luke 12:4-5 - “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

Luke 12:32 - “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

John 6:19-20 - So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”

John 12:15 - “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Acts 9:31 - Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 10:2, 22, 35 - A devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. . . . And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.” . . . But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Acts 13:16, 26 - Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: . . . Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.

Acts 18:9 - Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;

Acts 27:24 - "Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you."

Romans 3:18 - “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 8:15 - For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

1 Corinthians 16:10 - And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.

2 Corinthians 7:1 - Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Philippians 1:14 - And most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Colossians 3:22 - Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Hebrews 5:7 - Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,

Hebrews 11:7 - By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Hebrews 11:23 - By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

Hebrews 11:27 - By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

Hebrews 12:28 - Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Hebrews 13:6 - So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

1 Peter 2:17 - Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

1 Peter 3:6 - Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

1 Peter 3:14 - But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Revelation 1:17 - And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.

Revelation 2:10 - Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Revelation 14:7 - “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Revelation 15:4 - Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

Revelation 19:5 - Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jesus Equates Fear With a Lack of Faith

And a great windstorm arose, 
and the waves beat into the boat, 
so that it was already filling. 
But He was in the stern, asleep. 
And they awoke Him & said to Him, 
“Teacher, don't You care 
that we're perishing?”

Then He arose & rebuked the wind, 
and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” 
And the wind ceased 
and there was a great calm. 
But He said to them, 
“Why are you so fearful? 
How is it that you have no faith?”
(Mark 4:37-40).

Maybe it's not a physical windstorm that's rising around you and beating its waves into your boat; maybe it's just an emotional one. Or maybe this non-scientific storm is merely threatening to rise against you. 

Maybe as you look out into this present or potential storm, you don't see God doing anything about it; and maybe that scares you. Maybe that makes you feel like He has no intention of ever doing anything about it. Maybe you think He's going to let you perish. Maybe it feels like He doesn't care about what happens to you. 

But just wait. 
Wait patiently.

And eventually, in His timing rather than yours or mine, He WILL act - and it will be perfect. 

And after the great calm comes in your story, then you'll hear His gentle whisper in your heart: "Why are you so fearful? Haven't I told you how much I love you? How is it that you have no faith?"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Safe in Times of Shock

Then Jesus said to them, 
“Do not be afraid. 

Go and tell My brethren 
to go to Galilee, 
and there they will see Me.”
(Matthew 28:10).

Why were they (Mary & Mary Magdalene) afraid? These women were afraid because, after coming to the tomb in feelings of deep sadness, they'd received a great shock. 

There'd been an earthquake! 
An angel had descended from Heaven! 
The guards had shakingly fallen, as if for dead!

As if all that wasn't shocking enough, the angel had actually spoken to them directly! He'd told the women that Jesus was alive again, and then he'd sent them on a mission to go and share the news with the disciples.

As they departed "with fear and great joy," Jesus Himself came to them. Perhaps He wanted to reassure them that the good news they'd heard was really true. Perhaps He wanted to comfort their beloved hearts by letting them enjoy His living physical presence after they'd been anticipating being in His dead physical presence (maybe they'd even been a little disappointed at not getting to see Him that morning). Whatever the reason, the purpose of this meeting was to comfort the women so that they wouldn't be afraid - and to reaffirm the mission given them by the angel.

What is scary about times of shock? 

Is it because we don't feel like we have good control of things? Does that makes us unsure of how they'll turn out? 

What if we recognized that God is now, has always been, and always will be in control of everything in our lives? And what if we trusted God, the very Fountain of goodness, to ensure that all these things will turn out according to His will (Ephesians 1:11) as well as for our good (Romans 8:28)?

Another important lesson from this passage: 
  • God understands human emotions, 
  • He's comfortable around those emotions, 
  • and He knows what to do about them.