A Reflection for October: Be Not Afraid!
How often do you hear someone say ‘Don’t worry’? When I look at our world there are a lot of reasons why we might be worried. September is normally considered to be a month of new beginnings, fruitfulness and excitement. This year, we are faced with a lot of change and uncertainties. We do not know how the next 3 months will pan out, let alone the next year. Fear and anxiety is becoming as pandemic as Covid-19. Our concerns include what is happening in our schools and universities, whether we can take a holiday or not, approaching cold weather and flu season, climate change, antagonism between nations, Brexit, family issues and even the elections in the United States. We are uneasy and unsettled.
Some use the expression - ‘I’m feeling hammered’. A hammer can be used to build or to break things up. What a hammer does is dependent on the person using it. It is similar when we face problems and difficulties. The key is in how we face and deal with them. We can let situations crush us, making us depressed and unable to face the future and avoid thinking about God. On the other hand, they can cause us to fall back on God, and want to build our relationship with him and find the comfort we need.
Recently, we have been limited in how we go about practising our faith as a religion. Church services are different. There are strict guidelines about what we must do and this is a struggle for some. However, we have realised that our relationships are the most important. Jesus taught us that there are two commandments to follow - to love God, and to love our neighbour. There has been considerable growth in these areas recently - locally, nationally and in many parts of the world.
There are 365 references in the Bible to not being afraid or not worrying - one for each day of the year. Therefore it must be possible for us to lay our anxieties and fears at Jesus’ feet. Philippians 4:6 says ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’. The two words ‘with thanksgiving’ are part of the key to unlock that peace. A song by Hillsong can help us to worship God in this way. Hear it on YouTube - https://youtu.be/ahscQk-QAX0
I will bless the Lord forever and I will trust Him at all times
He has delivered me from all fear and He has set my feet upon a rock
I will not be moved, and I’ll say of the Lord
You are my shield, my strength, my portion,
Deliverer, my shelter, strong tower
My very present help in time of need.