Pastor Larson’s Corner: The “flip side” of fear
Many times during His ministry Jesus addressed the problem of fear with His disciples. He did so in a very dramatic way the first time He told them that He would be leaving them. After He explained that He must go, He told them they would not be alone. He said, “I will send you a counselor, the Holy Spirit, to be with you.” A barrage of questions from a very fearful group of disciples followed Jesus’s revelations. He responded with the now-famous words: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Jesus knew that fear, more than anything else, could paralyze His disciples. For this reason, He sought to comfort their fears, not only through His actions but also by giving them the promise of the Holy Spirit. Once the disciples realized that Jesus’s spirit would continue to be with them and go before them, they no longer allowed their fears to control them. They began to believe and trust in their future.
Fear has an enormous amount of energy, and we have all felt its paralyzing power. If we are not careful, we can allow our fears to completely control and dominate our lives. As Christians, however, we have a powerful antidote to fear, namely faith. Faith is the “flip side” of fear. It is what gives us the power to stand in the midst of the greatest difficulties in life. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, Jesus gave His disciples the gift of faith. That same gift of faith is available to every one of us. It is there for us, in the midst of our many fears, whenever we seek to stand strong.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 10, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.