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Jarrod Jacobs: What Do You Do When You Are Afraid

In Ezra 3:2, it says that the Israelites had built the altar and sacrificed because they feared the others in the land. They saw some people as threats to them, so they began rebuilding the Temple by first building an altar to worship God. I am impressed that when they feared what the enemies might do, those folks came together “as one man” (Ezra 3:1, that’s unity!) and determined to build an altar where they could sacrifice as God had intended. In other words, they turned to God when they were afraid and worshipped Him!

Friend, what do you do when you are afraid? To whom do you turn when you are scared? Do you turn to the Lord or away from Him? Do you stop and worship and get your mind focused once more?

I know of mothers who calm and console their small children by telling them, “Let’s pray to God about being scared.” I respect and commend them for this, but my question is, what are the adults doing? The adults need to turn to God as well. Spend time worshipping the God of Heaven and see how things can be calmed!

Asaph was about to have a nervous breakdown over his worry about the wicked people. Though the words “fear” or “afraid” were not used in Psalm 73:1-16, you can read the tone of his worry in the text. Later, he changed his attitude. What changed it for him? Read Psalm 73:17. He declared, “it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God” (Ps. 73:28). When this man worshipped God and focused on something greater than himself, it put his life back in focus! Was not their worship producing the same thing for those scared citizens of Jerusalem (Ezra 3:1-6)?

When David lost his son (II Sam. 13:19), what was the first thing he did before he ate a morsel of food? II Samuel 13:20 tells us he worshipped God! David had sinned before God and saw that the consequences of his actions meant his child would die (II Sam. 13:13-14). Would such dire news not scare any parent? He fasted and prayed for a week (II Sam. 13:16-18), but when the news came of the death, he focused his mind and life upon God and worshipped the One who can reunite father and son (II Sam. 13:23)!

The worst part of being scared is realizing how little control we have! Control is an illusion, anyway! I can’t control whether or not you will finish reading this article. I can’t control how the “other guy” drives on the road, the weather, my heartbeat, blood pressure, whether I will get cancer, my eye color, or how tall I am. Sometimes, we are scared about losing a job or about the financial world in general. Some might be scared about those who hold elected office. What can we do about these things? Nothing! 

I have control over very little! Sometimes, it is that fact that scares us the most, but what will we do about it? Wouldn’t it be wise to act like those brave Israelites in Ezra? Worship God and turn over our worries to the One who has control (I Pet. 5:7)!

-- You are invited to visit the Caneyville church of Christ. Times of services: Sun.: 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 5:00 pm; Wed.: 7:00 pm. Website: Tune in to our radio program 101.5 FM at 5:30 am, Mon-Fri. Questions? Call: (270) 589-4167


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