Fear or faith
There is no fear in love, but perfect love expels all fear. – 1 John 4:18.
Mark 14:27 All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, “God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”
John 20:19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear . . .
Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
We all know what it is like to be afraid. Fear is emotional foreboding or dread of impending trouble or sorrow. Fear can result from real dangers or challenges. Fear can also be the result of imaginary dangers or challenges. This type of fear has no objective or logical basis. It is irrational. But it is real fear nonetheless to the one who experiences it.
Fear frequently immobilizes us. We freeze emotionally, mentally, or physically. We feel trapped, boxed in, and limited.
When we live in fear, we cannot experience fully who the Father is and what He desires for every child of the King.
If there was ever a group of men that had reason to have confidence based upon reality, it was the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. They spent over three years with Him. They rubbed shoulders with Him and got to know Him for the delightful and wonderful person that He is. He was a joy to be with. And yet He had a majestic power and authority that separated Him from all others. A lamb, a lion, and the King all rolled into one. To those that were in need, He was gentle, tender, and kind. To those who were self-righteous and spiritually blind, the Lord Jesus Christ was blunt and direct, often offensive.
The Lord Jesus Christ is a remarkable person. He is the incarnate God, the exact representation of the Father’s character and nature on earth. Those that saw Him, saw the Father at work through Him.
The Apostles had great expectations and high hopes based on reality, not fiction, mythology, or imagination. Their firm conviction was that the Lord Jesus Christ had come into the world to redeem Israel, freeing them from Roman domination. They were expecting the Son of David to take His rightful place as the long-awaited Messiah, the King of Israel and usher in the Kingdom of God on earth. They were expecting freedom, peace, and joy.
But then something terrible happened. How horrifying it was. He was arrested, beaten, tried, sentenced to death, and cruelly crucified. They watched in horror and they were filled with fear and dread. Their hopes and expectations were utterly shattered. They were crushed. They went into hiding. Imagine for a moment what it was like for them, hiding, cowering behind closed doors, in total disillusionment, fearing the absolute worst.
REFLECT & PRAY
The apostles of Christ experienced the darkest of all Sabbaths and the brightest of all Sundays.
Dear Father, You alone are responsible for our faith in Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Father thank You for opening the eyes of our hearts that we might see the glory and truth of the gospel. Encourage us to walk by faith and reject fear.
At the darkest of all nights, something totally marvelous happened. It was remarkable and unbelievable. Sadly, for most, it remains unbelievable even to this day. The Father, the Lord God Almighty, exercised His mighty power. The Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected. He lives! God the Father raised Him from the dead.
Galatians 1:1 God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.
What a difference one day makes. And because of it, the apostles could face tomorrow. The apostles’ fear was transformed into faith. Their timidity was transformed into courage and boldness. Their disparaging aimlessness and sense of futility were transformed into new purpose and focus. Their worldview now incorporated an expectation and certainty of the miracle-working power of the living God. They were still ordinary men, but they were ordinary men infused with the power and strength of the Lord God Almighty.
The darkness of the night heralds death, but the light of the morning declares life. In the face of such faith, fear is vanquished and evaporates.
1 Corinthians 15:54-58
54 “Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of the faith upon which each child of the King stands. Resurrection power provides moment by moment strength and energy to live as the Lord Jesus Christ did and as the Father asks us to do.
1 Corinthians 15:14,17
14 if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
He is risen, He is risen indeed.
I serve a risen Savior
I serve a risen Savior He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living, Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy; I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me, I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary, I never will despair;
I know that He is leading, Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing Will come at last.