Afraid of the dark? Afraid of dying? Afraid of getting old? Afraid of cancer? Afraid that your pension won’t pay up? Afraid of global warming? Afraid people don’t really like you?
We all have fears. As I write this, I’ve just heard about the Russian jet being shot down by Turkey. What might happen next? Will Putin retaliate? Will war break out? It’s scary. By the time you read it, hopefully those fears will have proved unfounded. But right now I don’t know.
None of us can know the future. So we do all we can to prevent the things we fear. Healthy diets, burglar alarms, living in a safe neighbourhood, not walking under ladders. Money in the bank, money in the pension scheme.
But however many precautions we take, none of us can really control the future, or even the things around us. And when we realise that, the fears come back.
What we really need is someone to walk with us through the difficult times, someone to say – “Even if that happens – I’ll still be there for you.” That’s much more reassuring than any burglar alarm, diet or investment plan.
And that’s exactly what God offers: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.”
“I have redeemed you” – God’s paid the price to rescue you. Jesus puts such a high value on you that he was prepared pay the ultimate price – to come to earth and die for you. “I have called you by name” – God knew you before you were conceived. “You are mine” – we all actually belong to him, we are his treasured possessions.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.” It’s an offer that’s for everyone. But it’s an offer most of you have turned down. You’ve let something someone said, or something that happened, or simply your own pride, turn you away from it. Or maybe you’ve never really heard it properly.
But it’s an offer that’s still open. If you want to be really free from fear, come and hear it – and receive it for real – this Christmas.
This article first appeared in Issue 9 of The Rufford Brick, December 2015