Victory over fear-!
"The only thing we have to fear is fear it'self - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." ---- FDR - First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933.Fear is like a storm, like a raging sea! Yet, as we feel we will drown, Christ comes and speaks to us a word of peace. Even as he did to his disciples and their fears were stilled! As John Newton poetically writes:
“…How sweet the name of Jesus sounds In a believer's ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear…”Where do I go with my fears? I go to the Christ! In song, prayer and worship, I bring to him the tumult of my mind, my racing heart and thoughts and, from him somehow, I receive a peace beyond my fright! I find a strength in myself I could not think was possible and discover that; He
“has not given me a spirit of fear but of love power and a sound mind”. Christ gave his disciples victory over their fears and does so in our lives also.
Victory over sin!
Acts 13:38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s graceIt is echoed in the words of St. Mathew in our common prayer…; “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” We need victory over sin and the power to forgive and be forgiven at every turn in our lives. We sin when we act out of selfishness and say no to love! We sin when we act against the virtue of faith, when we demean or hurt or ignore our brother! We sin by what we do , but more often by what we choose to allow. Sin binds us but Christ sets us free. He gives us victory over the power of sin and a key to unlock its chains. The power to forgive!
Victory over Doubt!
Matthew 28:17 "When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted"
“…Doubt is natural within faith. It comes because of our human weakness and fraility. [...] Unbelief is the decicion to live your life as if there is no God. It is a deliberate decision to reject Jesus Christ and all that he stands for. But doubt is something quite different. Doubt arises within the context of faith. It is a wistful longing to be sure of the things in which we trust. But it is not and need not be a problem…”As Augustine expressed it. The world of Christian faith is not a fairy-tale, make-believe world, question-free and problem-proof, but a world where doubt is never far from faith's shoulder! Be that as it may, doubts unanswered and ignored can affect us in our spiritual life: It kept Peter from walking on the water…It hinders us from experiencing themiraculous.
Matthew 14:31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”It hinders the answer to our prayers….
Matthew 21:21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.James 1:6
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the windIt affects how we live out our Christian faith Romans 14:23
But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.Christ came to Thomas who would not be convinced by the words of his brethren! He shows him the proof he required and received the words of homage, “My Lord and my God…”. He also comes to you and me. How did he get to each of us skeptics and overcome our many doubts? How did he overcome our unbelief? Each of us has different answers to that question! In our lives and experiences of doubt and faith we can agree that it is God alone that can truly convince a soul, persuade a mind, transform doubt into reverent faith! He did it with Thomas and the twelve, he does so with you and me! Victory is waht we need today! May we receive from Jesus the Lord victory over our fears, victory over every sin, victory over doubt and unbelief! Blessings