Fear not for “I AM” with you

Fear and disbelief gripped the disciples. Their Messiah had been arrested and they ran away in fear (Luke 14: 50-52). Their fear was understandable…for three years they had followed Jesus awaiting the day that He would overthrow the Roman occupiers and set the nation of Israel free.

The prophesied Messiah was expected to deliver Israel from the oppression of her enemies. The people ASSUMED that meant the foreign powers which had oppressed them for so long. However, as usual, people think “too small” for God!

His plan was to deliver them from a much greater adversary – their own sinful nature.  Israel, like America today, was short-sighted and focused on purely physical and material well-being. They were so self-absorbed in their current circumstances that they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. They were interested only in the here and now. They wanted Jesus to be their earthly king and rescue them from the occupying forces of Rome. They could see NO WAY Jesus dying on the cross would achieve this goal of freedom. Furthermore, many of the people were concerned for their own lives since the government, including the ruling Jewish Council, may now come after them because they had been supportive of Jesus. It was indeed a time of great bewilderment and fear. The people ASSUMED that all their hopes for a Messiah delivering them died with Jesus. For three long days it appeared that their fears were founded. Then on the morning following the Sabbath, the world changed forever. Jesus rose from the dead!

You see, the people were afraid because they had put their faith in the power of what they saw as an “earthly king,” a human being. The people were guilty of thinking “too small” for God. God’s plan all along was to deliver Israel from oppression – the oppression of sin.  God had no intention of merely making their earthly life more comfortable – His goal was MUCH larger in scope. God’s plan was to deliver Israel and the rest of the world, from the oppression of sin and death once and for all. God’s offer of redemption and salvation has been extended to EVERY human being since Jesus rose from the dead declaring victory over sin and death. All you need do to gain your redemption and salvation is to trust fully in Jesus as your personal Savior, Lord and Master.

We live in a scary and uncertain world, but Christ-followers have no need to fear. Why? God said so!  God’s promise, “Fear not for I AM with you,” appears in some form or another 365 times in the Bible – once for every day of the year. Coincidence? I don’t think so! Jesus commanded His followers to “pick up your cross DAILY and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) Jesus knows we are naturally afraid of the uncertainties of this world so He reminded us to defeat fear with Faith. This is God’s word – it is what He said. The solution to overcoming your fears is for you to determine, “Do I believe God, or not?”

He is Risen. He is Risen, INDEED!

-Pastor Dave