Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Fears Which Led to Christmas Blessings

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

Over the past few months I have been living with the fear of possible shoulder surgery. In thinking about my fears, I realized that some key people in the Biblical Christmas story faced fear.

When Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, foretelling the birth of John Baptist, and to Mary announcing her pregnancy, they were tempted to fear (Luke 1:13, 30).  Joseph feared taking Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:20). The shepherds were told not to fear when angels appeared proclaiming Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:10).

Although Zechariah questioned the angel’s announcement, Mary replaced fear with faith and rejoicing in God.  Joseph replaced fear with obedience in marrying Mary. The shepherds replaced fear with worship at the manger.

These fears ultimately led to blessings.  The birth of John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus.  Mary and Joseph parented God’s Son.  The shepherds were the first to see the newborn Messiah. 

Some of our greatest blessings may begin with fear.  We fear pain and suffering, but they draw us to God like nothing else can.  We fear the unknown, but God’s mighty hand is working everything out for our good.  We fear loss of abilities and activities, but God replaces them with greater faith and dependence on Him, and perhaps even new areas of ministry and service.

I recently received word that I don’t need surgery.  My fear has been replaced with thanks and praise, but I hope I would have responded with trust and faith if given a different diagnosis.

Whatever fears may plague us this Christmas season, if we face them with faith, obedience, and worship, God will bring blessings, even if it is in ways we cannot see this side of heaven.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, You know how easily I am tempted to fear, especially regarding my health concerns.  May my fears be replaced with increased faith, obedience, and worship this Christmas season, and thank you for the blessings You bring into my life. Amen.



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