New Year: Will it be the same? Or will I make a change?

He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”            Matthew 8:26 (HN)

In case I am a little slow, Jesus gives me another reminder that He never speaks carelessly. Jesus says to me here, “Jody, fear can only live where your faith is small.”

2009 is almost over. I have now seen 55 years end in my life. I want this new year to be the victorious beginning of the rest of my life. To live my life without fear, is to live my life with Jesus. I want faith not fear to be my default reaction to all the threats in my life. Yes, threats. I live in a fallen world. I live in a world where there is good – but there is also evil. The threats or attacks are not just physical. They attack my mind and my spirit.

Jesus isn’t kidding when He asks “Why are you afraid?” It may seem, at first, that Jesus must be kidding. The boat that He and the disciples are in is riding a storm that could be Hurricane Katrina’s twin sister! The storm has come suddenly and all the boat occupants, except One, are filled with fear. The disciples are screaming and Jesus – is sleeping!

Mark’s telling of this scene says these men woke Jesus with the question, ““Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” They do not ask, “Can you still the storm?” or “Did you know there was a storm?” They ask Jesus if He cares! Fear destroys my confidence in God’s love for me. If God permits terrible, deadly storms in my life – Does God care?

Fear also causes me to forget all the reasons I trust God. I forget all the many blessings and how He has saved me. I forget the miracle of His birth and death. I forget the miracle of His love.

Fear sucks the very life out of me. It drains the life out of my spirit and leaves me dry, without peace. It is an awful feeling. Jesus knows the root of my questions. Jesus waged war on fear. He spoke to it many, many times. Take time to read these:

Matthew 6:25-26

Matthew 10:28-31

Matthew 14:27

Matthew 24:6

John 14:1-3

John 14:27

Fear may be a part of my world but I do not have to invite it into my heart and allow it to live. Jesus gave me testimonies with words of strength so that I can feel less fear tomorrow than I do today. Talking with Jesus about my fear is talking to the One who truly does have control of all. Just as my earthly father cleaned out the ‘monsters’ from under my bed or in my closet when I was a child, so my Heavenly Father has the power to rebuke any fear that tries to blow like a storm in my life.

A fear ignored is a fear kept. That is what I think. I don’t want to carry any old fears into 2010. So I am going to chat with Jesus about my fears and let Him keep them. I am going to believe that Jesus cares. Yes, He has already sat down and is ready to listen. ‘Scuse us – while we chat.

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