Advent: Fear Not

Advent Candles

Since the end of the year is approaching, I have begun looking at goals and schedules and trying to figure out what writing projects to work on next. I was also putting all the holiday events on my calendar and deadlines for current projects. The more I looked at it, the more anxious and stressed I felt. So, I walked away and looked at the Advent readings for this week, mostly from Luke chapters 1 and 2. Angels were appearing to people to give a pronouncement from God of good news, yet each time they prefaced it with the words “Fear Not.” Why would they be afraid of good news?

The truth is that the thrill of good news is often immediately followed by fear. A couple finds out they are pregnant after years of trying and they are elated, but then they start thinking about the responsibilities and potential problems associated with parenting. You hear back from a search committee that you got the job, and after a brief moment of celebration, worries that you won’t be able to handle the job rush in to steal your joy. You find out your first published book is a success but immediately begin to worry that you won’t be able to write another one. Why is that?

Luke 22:31 says, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” The enemy wants to destroy us. He will throw everything he has at us to get our focus off of God. Satan’s greatest desire is to make us unusable to God in any way possible, so we have to keep our guard up and recognize his tactics. Fear is a favorite tool of Satan, and he wields it like a weapon. However, I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

The most common way Satan uses fear is to make us doubt our ability to carry out a calling or command of God. For instance, you may feel called to teach a Bible study class but feel you don’t know enough or that people won’t want to listen to you. However, if God calls you, He will equip you.  In Hebrews 13:21, scripture says He will “make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” As a matter of fact, God often calls us to assignments that are out of our comfort zones because He wants the world to see Him and not us and to teach us to depend on Him and not any natural talents we may possess.

So, when God gives you an assignment, believe that He will equip you and will bring about what He has said. If He has ordained it, He will bring it to pass in His time and His way. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Wait upon the Lord, and He will work out the details and your schedule. As the angels said, “Fear not…”

Advent: Fear Not

Since the end of the year is approaching, I have begun looking at goals and schedules and trying to figure out what writing projects to work on next. I was also putting all the holiday events on my calendar and deadlines for current projects. The more I looked at it, the more anxious and stressed I felt. So, I walked away and looked at the Advent readings for this week, mostly from Luke chapters 1 and 2. Angels were appearing to people to give a pronouncement from God of good news, yet each time they prefaced it with the words “Fear Not.” Why would they be afraid of good news?

The truth is that the thrill of good news is often immediately followed by fear. A couple finds out they are pregnant after years of trying and they are elated, but then they start thinking about the responsibilities and potential problems associated with parenting. You hear back from a search committee that you got the job, and after a brief moment of celebration, worries that you won’t be able to handle the job rush in to steal your joy. You find out your first published book is a success but immediately begin to worry that you won’t be able to write another one. Why is that?

Luke 22:31 says, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” The enemy wants to destroy us. He will throw everything he has at us to get our focus off of God. Satan’s greatest desire is to make us unusable to God in any way possible, so we have to keep our guard up and recognize his tactics. Fear is a favorite tool of Satan, and he wields it like a weapon. However, I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

The most common way Satan uses fear is to make us doubt our ability to carry out a calling or command of God. For instance, you may feel called to teach a Bible study class but feel you don’t know enough or that people won’t want to listen to you. However, if God calls you, He will equip you.  In Hebrews 13:21, scripture says He will “make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” As a matter of fact, God often calls us to assignments that are out of our comfort zones because He wants the world to see Him and not us and to teach us to depend on Him and not any natural talents we may possess.

So, when God gives you an assignment, believe that He will equip you and will bring about what He has said. If He has ordained it, He will bring it to pass in His time and His way. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Wait upon the Lord, and He will work out the details and your schedule. As the angels said, “Fear not…”

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