One A Day, And Leap Year Too!

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6  

 
Like you, I love the Word of God and how God speaks peace into our lives at the moments we need it most, like today. If you read the gospel accounts about what was happening in the lives of Jesus followers after He was brutally beaten, there isn’t much recorded as they were no where to be found. What we do know about the disciples of Jesus was they were living in fear, as if living in fear could be considered truly living is highly debatable.

In John 20:19 on the evening of the first Easter we get a good indicator of their mood which reminded me of how much of the world could probably relate to this Easter. John writes, “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." Up to this moment even though Jesus had risen from the grave just as He said, the news had not yet reached those who had been closest to Him and fear continued to grip their hearts.

This Easter, as the battle against the coronavirus rages on, many around the world today continue to “shelter in place”. Some do so out of precaution, not wanting to contract and spread this invisible enemy of humanity. Others though, much like the followers of Jesus who witnessed the traumatic events surrounding His brutal beating and crucifixion but had not yet heard the news that, “He Is Risen” huddled in fear.

Fear is something each of us has had to face often this last month. Fear is not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith, fear is a natural function of our brain. It’s what we do with our fear that matters most to our health and well being and God has much to say about how we are to deal with fear. You have probably heard the expression, “fight or flight” when it comes to feeling afraid. Some people when they experience fear, run. They don’t wait around to find out if the threat is viable or not, they simply run. You have probably laughed at a social media post capturing someone who was scared as a prank by a family member or friend and how they reacted to the fear by fleeing.

The opposite response to flight is to fight. Some, when they become frightened don’t run, they actually go on the attack and fight. I have watched in tears (laughter) how a prank in an attempt to scare someone turned into a beating when the person being pranked didn’t run as the prankster had hoped but instead dealt with their fear by attacking whatever it was that was causing the fear. Thank goodness no one was hurt in the video’s I saw and in the end everyone got a good laugh.

Yet, often times in life, like for the disciples in Jesus day before the news of His resurrection had reached them and for many of Jesus followers today fear is real and its not funny at all. Today, loved one, if you find yourself dealing with fear like never before let me encourage you with some really good news! Are you aware that the words, “Fear not” are the most repeated command in the Bible? It’s been often said that there are 365 “Fear Not’s” in the Bible, one for each day of the year. I love that. God knows us better than we know ourselves so He gives us a reminder every day to “Fear Not.”

But here is something that maybe you didnt know. If you go and count all the “Fear Not’s” that are in our modern translations of the Bible you won’t find 365 “Fear Not’s” and that’s because there are 366. And just when you thought that the good news couldn't get any better God has given us a “Fear Not” for Leap Year too! Just one more proof of God’s love and care and concern for you!

When fear comes your way, friend, and it will, don’t run and don’t fight. Instead, bring your fears to God in prayer, inviting His presence as your protecter, allowing His peace to fill your heart and mind. Remember peace is always found where God’s presence is! Draw close to Jesus and...   


“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."

Deuteronomy 31:6

I LOVE YOU!


 


 


Michael Osthimer

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