Monday, November 5, 2012

Stop being afraid!

Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!  Matthew 14:27

These are trying times. Wars and rumors of wars, famines, sickness, unrest, a failing economy, high unemployment, rising food prices, rising gas prices, rising medical prices, and fear of terrorist attacks are just a few of the things that keep me up at night. I fear for myself, I fear for my kids, I fear for the future.

But then I came across the story in Matthew 14 where Jesus's disciples were in a boat in the middle of a huge storm. Waves and wind battered them and tossed the boat as if it were made of paper. They feared for their lives!  Then, they see Jesus casually strolling on top of the water. Which causes them to panic even more!! He's coming to save them and they thought he was a ghost! Isn't that true of us? We always think the worst of the situation. We fear the worst is happening instead of the best?  So, what did Jesus say to the frightened disciples.  Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!

When I read that it was as if God himself were saying the very same thing to me right at that moment!  The thing that struck me the most was the phrase "I AM"  I AM is God's name. It's the name He gave to Moses when Moses asked what he should call him.

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14

So, when God is saying "I AM"  He is saying. "I AM God, the creator of the universe. I AM your creator. I AM everything you'll ever need. I AM your provider, your protector, your hope, your joy, your peace, your purpose, your life.

Jesus used this significant phrase a few times during his ministry on earth. Once was when he was being questioned by the Jewish pharisees and Jesus mentioned how Abraham would rejoice to see this day come when Jesus walked the earth. . .
Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”  Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”  Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8:56-59

Why did they try to stone him?  Because Jesus had just declared Himself to be God.

The next time is my favorite "I AM" incident. It happens at the end of Jesus's ministry when He is about to be arrested and then put through a mock trial that would end in His death.  It is in the middle of the night and Jesus and His disciples are in a garden resting when soldiers carrying torches come to arrest him.  The story is found in John 18

Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I AM He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I AM He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 

The HE is in italics because it was not in the original manuscript. In other words, Jesus said "I AM"!  And look at the soldiers reactions!!  They fell to the ground. AWESOME!  Gives me tingles. They fell to the ground beneath the authority of the Living GOD! 

Why do I tell you this? Because this same God is our Father. We are His Children. There's nothing He won't do for us. He loves us immeasurably! It may not seem that way all the time. Maybe you are struggling right now and being hit on many fronts. But rest assured God knows and He's on top of it! He's working things out for your good. And He's asking you to Stop Being Afraid!!   And trust Him.

Here's a quick list of some of the "I am" phrases God declares about Himself in Scripture.

I am your shield      Genesis 15:1
I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless    Genesis 17:1
I am the Lord who heals you     Exodus 15:26
I am the LORD who sanctifies you   Exodus 31:13
I am holy    Leviticus 11:44
I am your portion    Numbers 18:20
I am continually with You   Psalm  73:23
I am gentle and lowly in heart   Matt 11:29
I am willing; be cleansed    Matt 8:3
I am with you always   Matt 28:20
I am the son of God   Matt 27:43
I am the bread of life   John 6:35
I am the light of the world   John 8:12
I am the door    John 10:9
I am the good shepherd   John 10:11
I am the resurrection and the life   John 11:25
I am the way the truth and the life   John 14:6
I am in the Father   John 14:20
I am the true vine   John 15:1

When your Father is the Creator and Sustainer of ALL things, what do you have to fear?


  1. This a good post for the day before the election, MaryLu! So many people are fearful about it, but God is still in control, no matter who wins.

  2. Thanks Emma! Very true. I know many people are nervous about the outcome of the election.. myself included.

  3. Tues Nov 6th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Computer was down yesterday, so I could not get on line until today.
    Great post, yet again ! And I especially love the picture of Jesus walking on the water/waves. I try to 'imagine' what that experience would have been like, to have actually witnessed it.
    Fear grips the Earth today -- fear of everything and anything ... but mostly, the unknown (I think).
    I also become fearful at times, wondering/worrying about my children, grandchildren, friends, etc. I so want to change things for them -- like, change their lives, hearts, etc (toward "Him") ... but I can't. All I can do is to 'try' to walk my Christian walk before them, and, to pray.
    "Be still, and KNOW, that I AM GOD" -- Psalm 46:10. Sharing my favourite verse, again.
    Please know that I am also in prayer re the outcome of today's American election. Both candidates are so "neck-in-neck" ... guess we'll find out the results by tonight.
    Thanks again for sharing, MaryLu. Hope you're still having a wonderful time in the mountains of Tennessee with your Mom and sister. (No snow here ... "yet".)
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  4. This is the Bible verse that helps me a lot Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Blessings ,Dana "Girl"Spille

  5. Oh.. I like those verses, Dana... what version is that?