black-bear-1I love it when the readings in various parts of the Bible display common themes. In Psalm 27, we read several references to not fearing.

27:1 – “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

27:3 – “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.”

Then the reading in Mark 6:45-52 with Jesus walking on the water, the disciples saw that and were terrified and what does Jesus say to them in v50? Yup – “Do not be afraid.

There is part of fear that is a natural reaction to keep us from danger.  If I go out to the woodpile in the darkness and run into an 800lb mama bear and her cubs and she stands up on her hind legs and growls at me, yeah…I’m afraid. And that’s normal – there is danger.

Feelings are flags that need to be investigated as to why they are there – why am I feeling afraid?  Two things to consider:

(1) Fear itself is not necessarily sinful, we need to investigate the feelings flag. It is the “fear-spiral” that is sinful.  Do you allow your fears to run unchecked and ending in panic?  (Adams, CCM)

(2) What is important is to whom we turn to when we are afraid (Thanks Ed Welch in “Running Scared”)

Fear heads the list of a host of many “disorders” that are diagnosed today – worry, anxiety, panic, OCD, Squirphobia (fear of Squirrels) – the list goes on and on and gets longer every year.  Fear, anxiety, and worry control so many lives.  No wonder Jesus says “Do not fear” so many times.

Our courage needs to be found in our God – who is in control of all – we should say like the Psalmist in Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the LORD, be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD.”  Fear essentially is a lack of faith in who God is, at that moment he is still there on his throne.  Let us turn to God when we fear, not turn inward to ourselves.

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