Friday, December 11, 2009

When People Are Afraid…Remember this…

Luke 1:74 : “to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear

The Age to Come vs. The Age that Has Been
“The central and simple message of the New Testament is that the promised age to come has dawned, the promised victory over what has emptied life of meaning and filled it with confusion and dismay has been won. . . . Were it not for the resurrection, Paul suggests, abandoning ourselves to a life of empty party-making and a fatalistic sense of doom would be quite logical.

There is no hope in ‘this age.’ It lies under the judgment of God. It is all, despite its brilliance, now dying. It has no future. It can offer many pleasurable experiences, many momentary distractions, but it is doomed. It has no long-term future and can offer no meaning besides what it manufactures for the moment, which is as fleeting as the morning mist.”
- David F. Wells,
The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 203.

Evil and the Purposes of God
“The mystery of iniquity is at work in the world during this interim time, and it is not always clear how its malignant work is being checked, overridden, or woven into the glorious purposes of God. We need to remember, though, that while Judas betrayed Christ, and woe to him for doing so, it was God’s plan that Christ was thus betrayed. Evil by its very nature opposes the purposes of God, but God, in his sovereignty, can make even this evil serve his purposes.”
- David F. Wells,
The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 206.

About Martin Luther
“They came to Martin one day, and they said, 'Martin, it is all over with the Reformation cause now, for the Emperor of Germany has sworn a solemn oath to help the Pope.' 'I do not care a snap of my finger for both of them,” said he, “nor for all the devils in hell! This is God’s work, and God’s work can stand against both emperors and popes.'

"There was a man who trusted, really, intensely, and because of this he was not afraid. Is not that much better than being afraid, and then having to trust to banish the fear? Now, God is with me, and come what may:

“Should earth against my soul engage,
And hellish darts be hurled;
Now I can smile at Satan’s rage,
And face a frowning world.
“Let cares like a wild deluge come,
And storms of sorrow fall:
I shall in safety reach my home,
My God, my heaven, my all.”

“Oh! If we can all get to this brave assurance of faith, happy shall we be in the midst of the worst trouble."
~ Charles Spurgeon, The Fear of Temporal Trouble (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991) 29

“When we fear God and God only, we are no longer bound by all of the other fears that would hold us captive. The fear of death, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of insignificance—all of the fears that know us by name and haunt us in the dark of the night become powerless when we know the fear of the Lord. And if this is not enough, we discover that perfect love casts out all fear. Not even God will hold us or control us by fear. When we fear Him, we in essence begin to live a life where we are fearless."

"The freedom to love and the freedom from fear make us an entirely different species within the whole of humanity. This may be the most extraordinary mark of the Spirit of God within the heart of humanity: the freedom to live out dreams greater than ourselves. Yet, if we were honest with ourselves, the church would be the last place most people would go to have their dreams nurtured, developed, and unleashed. "
- Erwin Raphael McManus, The Barbarian Way, (Nelson Books, 2005) 101-102

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