He who believes…

Mark 16:9-20

Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;  they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

 Fear is so disabling!  May we rise up against it any time it rears its ugly head from the sea of life.  May we slay it as David slew the giant he faced as a boy.  The young find it much easier to believe.  With their belief they find faith and put it into action.  David’s experiences with God assisting him against the bear and lion in the wild, while watching the sheep gave him the assurance he needed to come against a human threat.  The conflict included disrespect and dishonor of the Lord God who was with him.  He did not cave in to fear and was victorious.

 The disciples forgot all that in their fear of the circumstances.  That fear was so huge in their hearts at the time it drove their actions, or lack of action.  It drove out their faith, the faith that they used to tap into God’s power as they moved among his people; healing and driving out demons.  That fear brought despair.  They were mourning and weeping instead of looking and expecting.  Word that was brought to them of Jesus’ resurrection was discounted.  It was outside their experiences.  They were so full of despair they did not remember Christ’s words telling of His death and resurrection. And so we have a picture of what happens when we allow fear to overwhelm us rather than look to the Savior expecting…  Fear brought lack of faith which brought mourning and weeping which led to despair and unbelief, disabling them from any hope. 

 We can avoid this recreating in our lives.  Name the fear, declare the Word of God that makes it a lie and move on expecting Him to work with us.  Take our eyes off the events around us, off the spirit of fear in our world that drives many to meanness and arrogance and put our faith in what God can accomplish in our lives in spite of it all.  Breath prayer; Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.  Fear is not of God; we can defeat it with the Words of God and our faith in him.

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