Monday, December 11, 2017

In times of discouragement, do not be afraid

Isaiah 41:9-10  (God encouraging the people after harsh years of exile)

You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Pray: As you breathe in, pray "do not be afraid"; as you breathe out, pray "for I am your God." Repeat this many times, matching your words with the rhythm of your breath.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

In the midst of panic, do not be afraid

Proverbs 3:23-26 (reflecting on the rewards of God’s wisdom)

You will walk on your way securely and your foot will not stumble.
If you sit down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or of the storm that strikes the wicked;
for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.  

Reflect: What do people around you seem panicked about today? What is causing you to panic? Hold these things in the light of God's love and care.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

When you're called to lead, do not be afraid

Joshua 1:8-9 (as Joshua is getting ready to become leader of God’s people)

"God’s word shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Reflect: What places will your feet (or your car) carry you this week? Picture all those places in your mind, breathing in and out God's reassurance to Joshua: "The Lord your God is with me wherever I go."

Friday, December 8, 2017

When you're overwhelmed, do not be afraid

Deuteronomy 7:17-19 (as the people prepare to enter the Promised Land)

If you say to yourself, “These nations are more numerous than I; how can I dispossess them?” do not be afraid of them. Just remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.

Reflect: What is God hoping you'll remember today? Reflect on an overwhelming time when God has been faithful to you.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

When you're caught between two impossibilities, do not be afraid

Exodus 14:10-14 (At the Red Sea)

The Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?” But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

Pray: God, when there seems to be no way forward and I know I can't go back, help me not be afraid and trust you will make a way. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

When facing the unknown, do not be afraid

Genesis 46:2-4: At an old age, Jacob is preparing to leave the only country he has ever known.

God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.”

Reflect: What unknown do you face this Advent season? Hear God speak these words: "Do not be afraid."

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

When God seems to have forgotten you, do not be afraid

Genesis 21:15-19: Banished into the wilderness, Hagar has run out of water and faces her own death and the death of her child

When the water in the skin was gone, Hagar cast her child under one of the bushes. And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. God heard the voice of the child; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the child where he is. Come, lift up your child and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.

Pray: God, this Advent may my eyes be open to see you are there. Help me not be afraid.