Tag Archives: favor

How Firm a Foundation

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:26 – 35

An angel visits Mary, and the scripture says she was greatly troubled.
The angel comforted her, “Do not be afraid!”
Some scholars say God instructs his people not to fear more than a hundred times – a common command.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Have I not commanded you?
    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
    John 14:27
  • …for God gave us a spirit
    not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
    1 John 4:18
Quote by Henri Nouwen

Fear is such a common emotion!
We fear simple things – spiders, a failed dinner, flying, public speaking.
We fear bigger things – not being able to meet our responsibilities, what others think of us, pain, death.

God says over and over again to trust Him!  Do not be afraid. “There is no fear in love!”

You and I … we have found favor with God!

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in God’s excellent Word!
What more can be said than to you God hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be near thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”

John Rippon, 1787

What fear takes hold of you today?  Join me in praying like David prayed …

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
     In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
(Psalm 56:3-4)

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