Friday, December 12, 2008

Fear Not: Part 2

This is a continuation of Fear Not

Just to review; Let’s go back to our verse in John 14, Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. Fear is a heart issue. You and I both know that it is much easier for us to change our behavior than it is for us to change our heart. Heart issues are something we cannot combat on our own. We must have the help of the Holy Spirit. And yet when we look at the word for trouble in the Greek, the word Tarasso, it implies that Jesus is also referring to the mind. Let’s read the definition again, Tarasso to take away our calmness of mind, to cause one inward commotion, to perplex the mind by suggesting scruples or doubts, to disquiet; to make restless. But Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. Notice he didn’t say do not let your minds be troubled. He said our hearts not our minds. Jesus did not make the mistake of using the Greek word tarasso when speaking to his disciples. But why did he use a word that seems to appeal to the mind? I believe Jesus knows that to deal with mind we must look at the heart. He knows that our heart is the wellspring of life.

Let’s turn to Matthew 15:8-9, let me give you a little background. The Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus in Capernaum from Jerusalem to ask him why his disciples break the elder’s laws by not washing their hands before they eat. Jesus quoting Isaiah states to the Pharisees, “ The people (speaking of the Pharisees) honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain: their teachings are but rules taught by men. He goes on to say, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth is what makes him unclean.” These are what make a man unclean, but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean. Jesus goes on to say in verse 18, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony and slander. This verse implies that essentially all sin resides in the heart. Again it is so much easier for us to obey behavioral commands of what we are and are not to do than it is for us to obey with our hearts. We must take a stand to guard our heart. John 14:1 says do NOT let your hearts be troubled. The word LET in this verse implies that this fight is active. We must guard our hearts. We must be careful what we allow to penetrate our heart. It is a daily conscience effort to preserve our hearts in Christ and preserve our hearts in truth.

Let’s go back one last time to John 14:1, Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God trust also in me. Fear is a trust issue. Who are we putting our trust in when the storms of life are raging war against us? Are we putting our trust in ourselves or are we placing all faith and trust in God. Are we focused on our situation or on God’s truths and his Word? Trusting that he is going to work out his purposes within us? Do we believe that God is going to supply us with all we need and give us the strength to get through the darkest night? In the midst of our fears our focus must be entirely on God. Faith conquers fear.

We Cry Out! Let’s turn to Psalms 22:1-11 Read aloud. We can cry out like David. Our God is big enough to handle all our fears. We must cry out. When we cry out it opens up communication between you and a mighty God. It gives him the opportunity to comfort you through your times of fear and despair. In fact when you read the Psalms you discover that what starts out as crying out turns into praise. When we cry out to God in the midst of our trouble he in-turn reveals himself to us. Think of it this way, if your child was fearful or sad you would want them to come to you and tell you what’s wrong. You would want them to TRUST you with the things closest to their heart. Most of the time I already know why Hollen is sad but I still want her to trust me with her feelings of sadness and her fears. I want her to want me to comfort her through them. Jesus being tempted in every way can comfort us through the toughest of times. He longs to comfort you.

1 comment:

Mare said...

Beautiful! Thanks so much for this post...spoke to my heart.