Friends… Let’s be honest: It is natural to feel frightened. There are many valid reasons to be afraid right now. Throughout history, God has responded, “Do Not Fear, the Lord is With You.” But… how??
Included with this devotion (credited on the photo) is a picture listing many verses in the Bible about fear. Below, I have selected two. I picked these two because they remind us that it is humility that allows us not to fear. Humbly allowing ourselves to trust God releases at least some of our fear and anxiety.
Here, then, are two scriptures. First the scripture as actually in the Bible, and second my own “Retranslation for March 2020.” Reflect, share, pray, release… above all, know you are loved – By Jesus, and by me!
Zephaniah 3:11-13, 16-17, Common English Bible (CEB)
11 On that day, you won’t be ashamed of all your deeds with which you sinned against me; then I will remove from your midst those boasting with pride. No longer will you be haughty on my holy mountain, 12but I will cause a humble and powerless people to remain in your midst; they will seek refuge in the name of the Lord. 13 The few remaining from Israel won’t commit injustice; they won’t tell lies; a deceitful tongue won’t be found on their lips. They will graze and lie down; no one will make them afraid…
16 On that day, it will be said to Jerusalem: Don’t fear, Zion. Don’t let your hands fall. 17 The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:11-13, 16-17 – Retranslation for March 2020
by Rev. Dr. Stephanie Salinas:
Someday, perhaps not too far in the future, you will understand the truth. Those who claim to know everything about a virus no one understands will have their microphones taken away, but those who humbly admit there is much we don’t know will survive. They will seek refuge in the name of the Lord. The few who are willing to admit God is in control will live honestly, will share their toilet paper with their frail neighbors, will admit their issues aren’t the most important. They will stay home but they will not feel alone, and no cable news program will make them afraid…
On that day, it will be said to us, Don’t fear. Keep caring about the hungry kids and vulnerable elderly. The Lord your God is in your midst—healing your souls as you await doctors to heal your bodies. God will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.
1 Peter 5:6-11 Common English Bible (CEB)
6 Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day. 7 Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. 8 Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be power forever and always. Amen.
1 Peter 5:6-11 – Retranslation for March 2020
by Rev. Dr. Stephanie Salinas
Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power. You’re going to need some extra power in the coming weeks, so open yourselves to receive it now. Throw all your anxiety on God, because God cares about you. Be clearheaded – do you really need all that hand sanitizer? Keep alert – perhaps going out to one more club isn’t the best idea right now. There is evil prowling in our community, and it’s not something one can just wash off with soap. Resist the urge to hate, to hoard, and to hurt. Rather, stand firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that people are enduring the same suffering throughout the world. After you have suffered for a little while (although it will feel like forever, this will end), the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you. Even when you don’t feel like it, praise God. Word.