Fear and Comfort

Journal Entry // May 20, 2021

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

Acts 9:31 ESV

Fear and comfort. It seems odd to find both of these words describing the walk of those in the early church. This is another one of those two-sided actions that should be prevalent in my life. Another reminder of my role and God’s role in my life.

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Fear, Walk, Love, Serve

Journal Entry // May 21, 2022

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 10:12 ESV

What does the Lord require of me?

  • Fear the Lord
  • Walk in all his ways
  • Love him
  • Serve the Lord

And how am I to do this? With all my heart and soul.

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Fear and Trust

Journal Entry // April 13, 2021

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.

Psalm 115:11 ESV

In connection to Psalm 110, this verse takes the next step from the fear of the Lord and moves us into trust. Why is it that the Psalmist feels the need to add this challenge to those who already fear the Lord? To rightly fear the Lord, we must trust. We must move toward the Lord. This is what trust involves.

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Fear and Delight

Journal Entry // April 11, 2021

Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments!

Psalm 112:1 ESV

This is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). The fear of the Lord always sounds like such a negative state to be in a relationship. We don’t like to think about fear being a part of a loving relationship, but it is probably more due to our lack of understanding of what fear means in a loving relationship.

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Urgent Fear and Joy

Journal Entry // February 13, 2022

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Matthew 28:8 ESV

As I reflect on this passage, I see that there are three emotions that the two Marys carry with them after encountering the resurrection of Jesus. They have a sense of fear, a great joy and overwhelming urgency. These are typically the emotions we all have when we first encounter Jesus and his resurrection. Every new believer has a sense of fear, joy, and urgency all mixed together. The question I ask myself at this moment is, “Why do I not feel these now?”

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Sleeping God

Journal Entry // January 16, 2022

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”

Matthew 8:24-25 ESV

Doesn’t this story seem so familiar? I know that I have felt this first sentence so many times over the past two years. The great storm rising up in my life and threatening to undo me. Followed closely by me accusing Jesus of being uncaring and unloving or indifferent to me in this situation. My faith… My weak faith falters at these critical moments and I quickly turn to accusations out of misplaced fear.

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Take Heart

Journal Entry // February 18, 2021

for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Mark 6:50 ESV

As the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water in the middle of the night they became afraid. Really it was more than that. They were terrified because they thought he was a ghost. It’s interesting that they could all see him, but their conclusion about him was distorted. And this distortion led to a terrified fear. How often do I do the same thing with Christ. I see his hand moving in my life and become terrified when I lose control of a situation. Just like the disciples, I can recognize that Jesus is there, but surely it can’t be him. This Jesus is terrifying. This Jesus is leading me into places that are clearly unsafe and challenging. So I misinterpret who he is. I let fear overcome me. Not the healthy fear and trembling of awe and humility. But in the fear of being out of control and lack of understanding.

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Bereaved Soul

Journal Entry // February 11, 2021

They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft.

Psalm 35:12 ESV

bereft \bih-REFT\ adjective. 1 : deprived or robbed of the possession or use of something — usually used with of. 2 : lacking something needed, wanted, or expected — used with of. 3 : suffering the death of a loved one : bereaved.

I feel broken… My mind feels broken. My heart feels broken. My will feels broken. My soul feels broken. Everything in me has this taint of oppressive darkness lingering and taunting me. I feel like something has broken in my head that I cannot seem to find a correction.

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Fear & Worship

Journal Entry // January 31, 2021

You who fear the LORD, praise him!

Psalm 22:23

I believe I have lost some of the godly fear I previously had and it is affecting my motivation to praise the Lord. It is so easy to slip into a life that is centered on myself and lose the perspective of worship and praise. It is definitely a good thing to evaluate my life and heart and actions. These are things I should be doing regularly to better understand the state of my faith and hope. But I am concerned that in doing this, I have inadvertently slipped in my prayers and worship of God. I have lessened my fear of the Lord and focused mainly on the Fatherhood of God. Losing focus on the judgement and wrath of God.

As with yesterday, I am not so focused on the salvation of God and the rescuing of my soul from the depth of hell. I am focusing on good and healthy things in my life that enhance and challenge my faith and relationship with the Lord. But honestly, I don’t fear the Lord. Not anything like David is talking about in the Psalms. I need to recapture this fear of the Lord that leads to praise and wonder and worship. I need to cultivate this healthy fear into my daily life. Thinking and praying to the Lord with a humble heart and a bowed head.

40 Days of Cultivating Repentance

I’m not sure exactly what I want to do with this desire, but it is something I have been thinking about for a week or so and it is time to start moving it forward. I think part of this 40 Days is to develop a discipline and rhythm to my life. I want to better know the Lord and I need some specific intentional motivation and challenge. Sin has been much more challenging over the last few days and I have given my heart over to momentary pleasure more regularly. Old patterns and old habits have crept back into my life and I want to eradicate them. So today begins my journey of cultivating a life of spiritual discipline. With the end result having my heart, mind, soul, and strength fully delighting in the Lord.

Spirit of Power

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

It is seemingly far too easy for me to fall back into a mindset of fear. Fear of the world and the enemy that seeks me harm. Like Peter walking on the water with Jesus, I am distracted by the wind and the waves of chaos that are swirling around me and I take my eyes off Christ. It’s fear that distracts my attention away from Jesus. It’s fear that calls out to me from the darkness. It’s fear that tempts me to wander away from the presence of Christ.

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