A Different Narrative [ + free print]
If you spent some time today watching the news, listening to the radio, reading the paper or scrolling through Facebook it would have been hard not to have been caught up in a narrative of fear. On the SMH homepage today there are articles about terrorism raids, Safe Schools, murder trials, investigations into flight crashes, the Lindt Café investigation ...
Some Christian groups seem to promote a message of fear.
An underlying fear of “what next?” is becoming the new normal.
With all this going on around us, it can be hard to fix our eyes on Jesus, to have a deep conviction that He is in control.
Add to that our own struggles; whether it be work, finances, unemployment, illness, relationships, infertility, loneliness, exams … [Read the next part S L O W L Y)
BUT. God’s Word reveals a different narrative: Fear Not. Do Not Be Afraid.
Not only that, but from reading the Bible we learn that Jesus is:
OUR SAVIOUR Luke 2.11
OUR REDEEMER Isaiah 47.4
OUR HOPE 1 Timothy 1.1
OUR PROVIDER Luke 12.24
OUR REFUGE Matthew 11.28
OUR KING OF KINGS 1 Timothy 6.15
OUR LORD OF LORDS Revelation 17.14
OUR GOOD SHEPHERD John 10.11
And when we turn to the Old Testament to see who God is, we discover that He is:
OUR FATHER Isaiah 64.8
OUR STRENGTH Psalm 46.1
OUR SHIELD Psalm 28.7
OUR ROCK Psalm 115.9
OUR FORTRESS Psalm 18.2 FAITHFUL 1 Corinthians 1.9 SOVEREIGN Genesis 1 MERCIFUL Luke 15
LOVE and HE LOVES us 1 John 4, 7-21, John 3.16
AND not only that, He IS an ACTIVE and LIVING GOD (Jeremiah 10.10), He is ALL KNOWING (Psalm 147.5) and He IS WITH us (1 Corinthians 3.16). He is UNCHANGING (Malachi 3.6) and HOLY (Psalm 99.9).
We are not alone in this world. He is the CREATOR and SUSTAINER of all living things. He flung the stars into space. He parted seas. He brought down walls. He provided food each morning. Nothing is too hard for Him (Job 42.2).
THIS very God is OUR CREATOR. He tells us that he has, “engraved you on the palm of my hands” (Isaiah 49.16). He knows how many hairs are on our head. OUR God seeks us and desires for us to be in relationship with Him.
The challenges of this life are real. Sometimes heartbreaking. But the wonder of OUR God is that He invites us to "shelter under His wings" (Psalm 91.4). What a beautiful and remarkable image that is!
The author of Hebrews reframes an early house church’s narrative by reminding them of God’s story and their place in it. The emphasis is on who Jesus is, what He has done for them and what He promises.
Placing ourselves into that same narrative, if we consider who God is, what He has done for us, what He has promised to do, we see a God who is FOR us. A God who is with us, amongst us, at work within us and we can have full confidence and certainty in Him. WE CAN replace our fears with FAITH.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10.23
Meet Jesus. He's reaching out and wants to take your hand. He wants you to trust Him. And you can. He wants you to talk to Him and to hand those fears over. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5.7