“Do not be afraid”

Acts 18: 1-11

         “Do not be afraid.” I love those words.  Fear seems so real and is so crippling!  I sometimes think “fear” is my middle name.  My confirmation verse was Isaiah 41:10 that opens, “So do not fear, for I am with you.”

Paul has now traveled from Athens to Corinth in today’s reading and Paul is reunited with Timothy and Silas.  Again we see a pattern in Paul’s life.  He starts sharing in the synagogue.  Some Jews and Gentiles believe and others object.  Paul moves his place of sharing to the home of Titius Crispus, a worshipper of God, who lived next door.  Paul himself must have recognized the pattern and feared that mobs, beatings and prison were about to unfold.  We sometimes think Paul was a super believer and never doubted but this little scene shows us a human fearing the future and a God who reaches out to him to comfort and assure him.  It is a tender moment looking at the process of spiritual growth.

         “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision; ‘Do not be afraid; keep         on speaking, do not b silent.  For I am with you and no one is going to     attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’”

         I do not know what fears plague you today.  Perhaps the mistakes of the past will side swipe you in the future.  Maybe the secrets of the past will become known.  Someone who out performs you in an area you are proud of may come on the scene.  Then there are the fears from the outside forces of disease or politics.  Some of us grieve loss and fear we will not be strong to carry on.  God comes to us and comforts us that he knows, he sees and he is walking with us into and through our future.  “Do not fear, I am with you,” says the Lord.  Thank you.  Blessings as you face your fears with the Lord.

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