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No Fear

January 29, 2016

Children are often fearless. One clothing manufacturer capitalized on that fact and started a company called No Fear—a brand that our kids wore. This week’s texts (Psalm 71:1-6; Jeremiah 1:4-10; 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13; Luke 4:31-44) reminded me of how children fearlessly forge ahead, confident that a nearby parent will pick them up if they stumble or fall. One theme running through these scriptures is that God knew us before we were born and that he has a unique plan for each of us. He will be there for us to help us accomplish that plan, and will pick us up if we stumble or fall.

God Loves Us and Has Created Us for a Purpose

God declared to Jeremiah that he knew him before he was born and had a plan for him: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5). When I was pregnant with each of our children, I marveled that each one would be a unique person—with his or her own special personality, gifts and abilities.   Like me, God thought about each of my children before they were born, but unlike me, he knew them before they were born. He loved my children so much that he gave them each unique gifts to accomplish his plan for them. Paul teaches us that love is the greatest of the fruits of the spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), and must drive everything that we do. God’s love for us was expressed in his plan for his own son, who was also in on it: “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose“ (Luke 4: 43).

God Will Give Us What We Need

When we are listening to God’s voice, and are willing to live our lives in sync with his plan, doors will open and opportunities will arise to help us along the way. But we often find excuses not to follow the path that God has laid out for us. We rationalize that we do not have the time, the experience or the skills needed for the job. We fear that we aren’t up to the task. Like Moses before him, Jeremiah was skeptical that God had chosen the right person for the job. Like Moses, he complained to God that he was not a good public speaker: “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” (Jeremiah 1:6). And as God told Moses, “I will help you speak and will teach you what to say,” (Exodus 4:12), he touched Jeremiah’s mouth and said “Now I have put words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1: 9).

God Has the Power

God’s power was demonstrated on earth through his son, Jesus, who is one of the three parts of the Triune God. The word spread fast in Capernaum after Jesus rid a person of his own personal demon and healed Peter’s mother-in-law: “Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.” (Luke 4: 40). The people “. . . were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!’” (Luke 4: 36). In his most recent book, Miracles, Eric Metaxas puts the accounts of Biblical miracles in the context of the creation of the universe:

“Science today teaches that the universe came into being via the Big Bang, approximately fourteen billion years ago. According to this generally accepted theory, all matter in the known universe –more than one hundred billion galaxies—exploded out of something smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. . . That a creator was behind it all might be shocking in some circles, but for most people on the planet, it is essentially taken for granted. But if we believe that God created the universe out of nothing . . . how can we possibly quibble over smaller miracles like turning water into wine or giving sight to a blind man?”(Metaxas, Miracles, Dutton, 2014, p.12).

We see God’s power demonstrated, not only in creation and through miracles witnessed by thousands of people while Jesus walked on earth, but also in miraculous events today. Mextaxas notes: “When God pokes into our world through the miraculous, he is communicating with us.” (Miracles, p. 21).

God Is Our Refuge

Jeremiah was afraid that he was not up to the task that God has chosen for him, but God reassured him: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.” (Jeremiah 1:8). Moses had similar fears that God assuaged (Exodus 4: 1-5). And the Psalmist declares : “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge . . . give the command and save me, for you are my rock and my refuge.” (Psalm 71:1-3).

But what relevance do these ancient words have to us in the twenty-first century? Simply put, God is the same today as he was thousands of years ago. He has not changed (“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow” Hebrews 13:8). He helped the ancients; he will help you.

We can move forward without fear and with confidence to carry out God’s plans for us because he loves us, he has the power and the will to give us what we need, and will be there for us. Face the future with confidence knowing that your Father is there to catch you if you stumble or fall.

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan


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