December 21st – Fear NOThing

By: Pastor Andy Rutherford

If you are like most people, you have probably given fear too much room in your life. Does it live rent-free in your mind? Fear seems like it takes up residence, expands, and before we know it, controls the entire household of our lives. Our decisions, our relationships, our priorities–can all be impacted by something we allow to cause us to fear.

I cannot imagine the fear that struck the reality of Mary’s life when she realized the depth of what the angel was telling her. Consider her age, consider the response of her family and friends, not to mention the religious structures of her day. Even the law might come after her. She could have been stoned for her perceived sinful behavior.

Despite her faithfulness to the mission God had given her, I’m sure there were still those who dared to challenge the authenticity of her “story” and attempted to cast doubt on her. How would you respond if you were a pregnant, unmarried teen who had been thrust into the story of God in such a dramatic way? Yep.. me too…scared to death!

It’s reassuring to me that from the very beginning, the angel spoke immediately to Mary’s fears. I believe God knows that for most of us, our initial response to life tends to be more fearful than faith-filled. 

What is fear? Fear is our response to life when there is uncertainty, discomfort or pain, or when we are unsure about how circumstances in life will impact us. Our dependence on our own ability to deal with that fearful situation causes us to feel stressed, anxious and panicked. Do you have uncertainty about something in your life today?

Luke 1:30 reminds us why we should not live in fear. I know it is easier said than done, but just as Mary had to confront her fear, let’s receive the truth that was spoken to Mary in that moment. The angel told her she had “found favor with God.” In other words: Mary, God knows who you are. 

Friends, God sees your life of faith and purpose, and He walks with you no matter what comes your way. He is faithful to be available in every moment of every day. Do you need to reminded today that the fear you sense is lying to you? Whatever it is, it is not as bad as you think. It may be uncertain, but we serve a God who is certainly greater, bigger, and aware of our lives. We are recipients of His favor over our lives. Because of this, we can confidently respond to fear as Mary did in verse 38, “I am the Lord’s servant.” Translation: I trust in you God! 

I’m confident that Mary got her feet back under her after she had some time to digest all that was happening in her life. You, too, can make it. God looks at you with favor today! No matter what might be on the horizon, do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear Not for I am with you!

Read more of this Advent Devotional and other Daily Pursuits at www.dailypursuits.blog

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