TUESDAY, December 4
Fear: the enemy that harasses the soul! How intimidating! And, this enemy comes against us in many ways: there is the fear of loss, sickness, or failure; there is the fear of a failing economy, and the fear of an uncertain future. There is even the fear of being disliked, ignored, or left out.
What fears most set you back? What lurks in the dark corners of your life causing you to lose faith?
One small statement of the Birth Narrative of our Lord seems to always have a profound impact on my life: “fear not” (Luke 2:10). On the night of our Savior’s Birth, the angel said to the shepherds, “Fear not.” The Glory of the Lord shone brightly upon the unsettled scene of a dark and dangerous hillside; the brightness of God’s countenance was unveiled before unsuspecting vagabonds. God had truly touched earth.
Keeping with Biblical history, when an angel showed up, the announcement was either really, really good, or really, really bad. The shepherds on the hillside that night were definitely afraid when the angel showed up; they were caught by surprise, overwhelmed by something supernatural, and pushed back by an event that seemed to threaten their very well being. They must have thought, “Will this be good or bad?” It was then that God’s message through the angel fell like sweet relief in the midst of overwhelming anxiety: fear not. FEAR NOT! Do you hear God speaking that same message to you today?
Moses once reminded Joshua, “the Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you and will never leave you nor forsake you.” Moses then concluded, “Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.”
Are you astonished by the goodness and grace of God? I certainly hope so. Live astonished. Be joyfully overwhelmed at a holy and omnipotent God reaching down into our lives to become one of us; hear His mighty voice announce, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I am with you.” Sometimes, the answer to our greatest fear is the simplest of promises. This Christmas season look intently into the face of Jesus and do not fear. God is with you.
Read: Luke 2:8-10; Joshua 1:9