Pastor Larson’s Corner: Fear and faith

Pastor Larsons Corner

I had a religion professor in college who liked to say that, “Faith is the flip side of fear.” He said this because throughout the New Testament, Christians are called to move away from fear and into a life of faith. When the angels appeared to the shepherds announcing Jesus’s birth they began with the words, “fear not.” When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection He also began with the words, “fear not.” Fear, however, cannot be easily set aside. Even when fear grows out of unreal threats, it can have a powerful effect upon us.

As twentieth-century Christians we live in a world of fear. Our lives are often dominated and controlled by real and unreal fear. Unfortunately, we can’t just turn fear off. It doesn’t help much to tell someone to not be afraid. But what if we could? What if we could abandon our fear and substitute faith? Our lives would be very different. Fear has a way of taking an enormous toll on of our lives. It would be wonderful if we could turn off fear and turn on faith. Think of the difference it would make in our lives.

If you are in need of a good New Year’s resolution, may I suggest taking a hard look at your current list of fears to see how real they are. Then, after examining your fears, see if you can substitute faith for some of them. Every New Year holds promise of better things for our world and for ourselves personally. Having faith in this fact can greatly alter the way we think and live our lives. God has called us to be people of great faith. May your new year be filled with hope and may fear take a back seat to faith in your life.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 8, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.