Don't Be Afraid In A World Filled With Fear // Luke 2:10
School shootings, an opioid epidemic, North Korean missile launches, Federal tax overhaul, racial strife, human trafficking, sexual abuse and harassment; all these and more do a great job of shouting be afraid! In contrast, God tells us "do not be afraid. (Luke 2:10)" Luke 2: 8-20 gives us the announcement of Jesus' birth to the world.
Angels burst into reality before a group of astonished shepherds. The angels announce "Do not be afraid." Certainly the near context (the supernatural appearance of beings so unlike the shepherds) was they were afraid. Resonating from their words "do not be afraid" is a reminder that we (humans) need not operate in fear. Don't be afraid in a world filled with fear. Do not be afraid is a powerful opener for the message the angels delivered.
God sent Jesus to take on the form of mankind in order to destroy that which causes the most fear - death (Hebrews 2: 14-18). Jesus brings a message of love for the sinner and an invitation from God to believe we are redeemed because He loves us. Can we believe God loves us this much? The Apostle John reminds Christians in every age that we are free from the fear of sin's penalty (death). Can you believe such a message and live without fear?
Fear is countered by the hope that Jesus will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We are challenged to live in hope putting Christ before our fears and following Him (Matt 16:24). As Christians, trusting God will never leave us; from this foundation we move and act in faith.
There can be a gap between words of faith and a walk of faith. Our co-workers, classmates, parents, children and friends are watching the gap to see if we will close it by walking the talk with acts of faith. Like watching trapeze artists who swing in unison - people are waiting for one to let go and take hold of the other. When one lets go and is caught it - we cheer. While they swing in unison people wait - watching the gap between them. Don't be afraid; reach out and take Jesus' hands with tangible acts of faith.
When you get up in the morning ask God, "what is my assignment for today?" Do it. Don't be afraid in a world fill with fear. What an incredibly freeing and empowering way to begin Advent leaning into the message of Christmas! Trust God with everything (your life, family, friends and future) and don't be afraid! What is your assignment from God today?