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I was reminded of Matthew 10 this morning. What a "hit you in the face" passage. All I see on the news, on social media, or have in conversations is the topic of fear.  As we face a worldwide pandemic, we are immersed into fear. It's a big temptation to be fearful of all the unknown that we see. But in Matthew 10, Jesus gives a very pointed command from verses 26-31: Do not fear. But how can I do that? Or why should I not?

To summarize these verses: They talk about fearing God and not people. The Old Testament talks about it similarly in a passage like Isaiah 8:12, 13 that says: "Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honour as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." In the book of Matthew, Matthew quotes Jesus as he talks about four things: 1) Evil actions will be exposed for what they are; 2) even though someone can kill the body, God can punish soul and body; 3) God orders everything (even a virus), from a sparrow falling to the number of (or lack of) hairs on the head; and 4) those who deny Jesus when threatened by humans will be rejected by Jesus in the presence of his heavenly Father. The Bible consistently teaches that fear and reverence are appropriate responses to God. So what, though? Right? A time like this exposes who I fear and revere more? The one who orders everything? Or the people, virus, finances? With Christ, there comes a peace and a rest. I may not know the "why," but I know the one who orders everything. As I was reading this, the song "Turn Your Eyes on Jesus" came on, and it hit me again. And old hymn that I grew up singing so many times. Have you heard about it before? Do you know the lyrics?

O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There's light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

 

Refrain:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

 

Thro' death into life everlasting,

He passed, and we follow Him there;

O'er us sin no more hath dominion--

For more than conqu'rors we are!

 

His Word shall not fail you--He promised;

Believe Him, and all will be well:

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell!

In times of fear, turn your eyes to Jesus. Let him remind you that he is on the throne. Let us "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2) Let us rest on the one "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and for him." (Colossians 1:16). Let your understanding of who our God, our Lord and Saviour is, as he has revealed himself in his very Word, trump the fear you have. In our fearful state, let's run to the one who orders all things. Turn your eyes to Jesus. 

O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There's light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.