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For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

Throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New testaments, we are told hundreds of times, “do not fear;” or “fear not;” or “be not afraid;” or some form of those words. God seems to be forever trying to reassure us, but still we are afraid and we do fear.

Certainly in recent months the Covid-19 pandemic has made many fearful. We fear the nature and randomness of the virus, the unknowns of the illness and what will happen if we contract the virus. Even without being sick, the virus has caused many to be fearful of going to the store, going to work, or even going out in public. Recent violence and killing in our country has made many afraid of what is happening in our communities and in our country; and what is happening to us as a human race.

We may hold fears about the future, about our job or financial situation; about our relationships; about our health or aging; or about difficulty we or someone we love is going through. The list can seem endless and a cycle of fear can dominate our thoughts, leaving us feeling helpless or even paralyzed.

As people of faith, we are not any less faithful because we are afraid or fearful at times. But our fears do not need to leave us hopeless. I ran across a video devotion by a pastor in Missouri a while back and I listened because he was using an acronym and I like acronyms. He was saying that we can look at F.E.A.R. in two different ways…either as Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.

There are days when all of us contemplate forgetting everything happening around us and running away. But when we can hold tightly to our faith and be guided and strengthened by Scripture and prayer, we have a better chance to face everything and rise. When we can do that our fear turns to hope.

May we use the power, love and self-control God provides to face whatever comes our way this day and this week, and rise!