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We are equipped to face life’s battles

 

The Ebola outbreak. Terrorism. The persecution of people of faith. War. Crime.

There are many events and influences in the world at this time that can spark fear in our hearts.

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid ...” (Luke5:10).

Do not be afraid.

We don’t like to feel fear.

It’s an uncomfortable emotion. It makes the heart race, causes our stomachs to churn. When we need oxygen the most to fuel the brain to make a good decisions about the cause of the fear -- stand, fight, or flee -- our breath comes in shallow gulps, like a fish out of water, reducing our oxygen and contributing to panic instead of rational thought.

Our mouths go dry; conversely, our palms sweat. Fear has a particular taste.

All this makes for great discomfort and confusion at a time when we need to be rational, cool, level-headed. Instead, we are irrational, panic-stricken, anxious.

Do not be afraid.

We consider ourselves people of faith. That faith falters and is shaken at times by circumstances. Fear, despite our best efforts, sometimes gains the upper hand. We panic.

Do not be afraid.

But when we remember you, Abba, are always with us, that you are our rock, our shield, our deliverer (Psalms 27, 31), we begin to breathe. When we remember you have sent your angels to protect and defend us (Psalm 91), we can calm down.

When we remember to outfit ourselves and those we love with the defense you have provided (Eph. 5:13-17), we are ready to stand fast, shielded in faith, to face the source of fear.

But without you, we are helpless.

Without your love, strength and protection, fear can conquer us.

“... when I am afraid, in you I place my trust. God, I praise your promise; in you I trust, I do not fear. What can mere flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:4-5).

When we are afraid, you offer your salvation as a helmet -- protecting our minds from the doubts and fears that assail us -- and your word as a living sword to vanquish evil.

When we place ourselves in your care, you equip us for the battles this life may bring.

And we can pray and praise you in our times of trial: I praise your promise, Abba. I place my trust and faith in you to deliver each of us safely through our trials to life eternal with you. Thank you for being my rock and fortress, my refuge in time of need, thank you for your salvation through your Son that equips me to conquer fear and stand firm in faith. Amen.

 
 
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