My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
FEAR IS DEBILATING TO MAN
"Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness
in the day of jdgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There
is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves
torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love
Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:17-19).
The holy Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans writes, "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba,’ Father. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are CHILDREN OF GOD, and if children, then HEIRS–HEIRS OF GOD AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified" (Romans 8:15-17).
Adam knows fear for the first time in the garden following his and Eve’s act of disobedience. We read in the book of Genesis 3:9-10, "So the Lord God called Adam and said to him, ‘Adam, where are you?’ He replied, ‘I heard Your voice as You were walking in the garden, and I WAS AFRAID because I was naked; so I hid myself." Adam and Eve now had a FALLEN WILL and for the first time tried to hide from God. Fallen man now has A FALLEN WILL, Thus he has a tendency to run away from God. But the grace of Christ heals the will of those WHO RETURN TO HIM THROUGH REPENTANCE (METANOIA) so they might freely pursue God and do His will. Adam and Eve knew not any fear prior to the fall.
No human traverses this earthly life without knowing fear. There are some who live in constant fear of one kind or another. And yet there are others who have no fear at all. There are many people who suffer from different kinds of phobia i.e., fear of death, loosing a job, loosing a child or spouse, water, snakes, flying on an airplane, loosing wealth, insects, animals, etc. In Psalm 111:10 we read, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." And in the Gospel of the holy Evangelist Luke 1:74-75, "To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life." Man’s relationship with God is not one of fear but of love, truth, trust, humility and obedience. God, for the Christian believer, is a loving Father and, therefore, all human beings are His children. Only slaves fear their master who are in bondage and constantly threatens them with punishment and even death.
"There us no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:18-19). We know for a fact that "fear involves torment," because the person possessed by fear is constantly tortured by it. He or she cannot function normally and live a peaceful life. These poor souls feel anxious much of the time, experience panic attacks, are resticted to what they are able to do and to find a way to live free without any concern whether imaginery or real. This is why a person who is suffering from fear, life is a "torment." The cure for fear, however, is our Lord Jesus Christ Who "casts" all fear.
"Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid…with us is the Lord our God, to save us and to fight our battles" (2 Chronicles 32:7-8). The Orthodox Christian believer derives his strength and courage from the Almighty God. An example of this is the true story of David and Goliath who was nine feet tall. This familiar story reminds us of the courage in men’s hearts when their faith is placed entirely in God. As we remember from this story that Goliath tauts David, but David’s faith becomes evident when he does not cower under the threats, but instead defies Goliath for he has the power of God with him. This is what young David said to the Philistine: "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a shield. But I come to you IN THE NAME OF THE LORD SABAOTH,THE GOD OF THE ARMIES OF ISRAEL, WHOM YOU REPROACHED TODAY." (1 kINGDOMS 17:24). "So David prevailed over the philistine with a sling and a stone…" (vs. 29). We too can prevail over any and and all adversity, and against all odds.
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George