Focus on Faith
Rev. Doug Dry, First Baptist Church
(Pastor Doug is committed to the revitalization and rebuilding of FBC in order to bless our Wakefield community with the message and ministry of Jesus)
This past month, amidst the overnight downpours of Hurricane Ida, I discovered water seeping into my basement. It wasn’t obvious at first glance, but upon careful inspection I found several entry points. Thankfully the intruding water came as a trickle not a flood, but apart from a vigilant eye and a trusty ShopVac that water would have made quite a mess.
Recently I’ve noticed a trickle of fear seeping into the lives of many. According to Oxford Languages, “Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”. Rising costs of just about everything, mounting debt and the troubles with Social Security birth financial fears. The Delta Variant and the reemergence of terrorist organizations bring concerns about our own safety and the safety of those we love. A spirit of division and polarization makes us wonder if we can ever work together to address our common problems. Often anger, discouragement, depression, and stagnation result when fear settles in.
While its always a good time to listen to God’s voice, now, more than ever we need to hear and respond to His Word, “Do not be afraid”. Throughout Scripture the Lord brought reassurance to all sorts of people who faced frightening situations. God spoke to paragons of faith and outcast servants (like Abraham and Hagar); to Israel, while on the brink of war; to Prophets and Kings; to those entrusted with the birth of the coming Messiah (Joseph and Mary); and to the Apostles and Church members facing hardship and persecution. Do not be afraid because, I, the Lord your God am with you!
I’ve discovered that God’s Presence overcomes fear. “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). God’s Love proves more powerful than anything that could come against us. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). God’s Power enables us to look beyond ourselves and be messengers of Good News in our words and deeds. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”(Acts 1:8).
This month I’ll be doing some flood remediation – re-grading, filling in the low spots, funneling water away from my house. I’ll also be doing some fear remediation - seeking the Lord and His Presence. He fills in the low spots and funnels fear far from our lives. I hope you’ll join me in this quest. Hear these words, Do not be afraid, because I, the Lord your God am with you!
Grace and Peace,