Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. – Joshua 1:9
Text: Luke 8:50; Matthew 14:27; Luke 12:32
Prop: object that will make a loud noise (horn, buzzer, balloon popping)
Summary: God helps us move from fear to faith quickly.
Some things cause us to fear. God does not want us to be fearful. Think for a moment about what might scare you. Some of us are afraid when the lights suddenly go out during a thunderstorm and we are in the dark. Some of us might be startled and scared by a loud noise, such as when a balloon pops, or a loud car horn blows. Or this (make the loud noise with your noise-maker). Did that scare you? (listen to responses) God gave us a “startle reflex” to help us when we are in danger. It causes our heart to beat faster and gives us a sudden burst of energy to run away. Today’s Bible verses are about how we should move quickly from fear (being afraid) to faith (trusting in God) no matter what happens.
(Read Luke 8:50.)
This verse is from the miracle when Jesus brought the daughter of Jairus back to life. Imagine seeing the father of the 12-year-old little girl. As he asked for help, friends from his home told him that his daughter had died. Jesus helped the father to trust in God in that very moment and told him these very important words: Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. We should trust Jesus whenever we are afraid and our fear will turn to peace. You know how that story ended: Jesus called her back to life and she came alive!
What if you thought you were seeing a ghost! That would be very scary! The disciples (followers of Jesus) were in a boat late one night, crossing a lake, and the wind was blowing hard and making big waves. They saw Jesus walking on the water and thought they were seeing a spirit (ghost). They cried out for fear. But Jesus did not want them to be afraid and spoke to them: Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. (Matthew 14:27) Even in moments when we are frightened, Jesus wants us to trust him. Jesus takes the storm out of us (calms us) before he takes us out of the storm.
Jesus always looks for our faith in God. Jesus tells us to seek God first in all we do, and that God will take care of our needs. We serve a loving God that wants us to enjoy his goodness. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said: Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32) As we grow older, God wants us to “grow up” spiritually to be more mature Christians. That means when we find ourselves in times of trouble, to move as quickly as we can from fear to faith: from being afraid, to trusting God in all circumstances.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, give us courage to trust you. Help us move from fear to faith quickly. Amen.
©2009 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.