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Jack Wellman November 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

Superb collection Pam. As always, wonderful job and we need these today because often when our problems are too big our God is too small but if our God is as big as He really is, our problems and anxieties are miniscule in comparison.

DocReits November 6, 2014 at 1:25 am

Hi Pamela,

I think it important to define the difference between anxiety, fear and anguish. These are not the same. Jesus certainly agonized in the Garden before His impending Crucifixion. Was He anxious? I think not. It is difficult to distinguish the difference at times. Did Job suffer anxiety when the news of the catastrophes reached him, culminating in the news of the death of all of his children?

Did Israel suffer anxiety when news was brought to him that his son Joseph had been most likely killed by wild beasts? How about when Laban was chasing him or his brother Esau was approaching his family with 400 men?

How about when his grandfather, Abraham, had Sara pretend she was his sister so the king of the land would not supposedly kill him to obtain her for wife? Wasn’t he suffering anxiety over this presumed possibility…I think so. These are questions not easily answered. Were these people in William Law’s words, “Out of God’s will” at those times.

I will not take the space to elaborate. I think these questions would be better answered by you, as you raised the topic. I believe we need to start with some definitions. Otherwise these men of God you quote sound like presumptuous unfeeling robots who say to the rest of us lower humans to, “get a grip”.

Blessings,

DocReits

DocReits November 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Hi Pamela,

I am compelled to expand on my previous thoughts. The great message of the Bible, the Word of God, is for humanity to “fear not”. It is a message of Redemption for the lost. We are weary, we are the tempest tossed, the burdened, suffering in this life with every sort of illness, hurt, calamity, and sorrow culminating in our physical deaths.

We are also to enjoy this life and all of its blessings….family, love, sunshine, rain and the labor of our hands… “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God”(Eccl 3:13).

But sorrows come and death, and more importantly eternal death for those not availing themselves of the Savior. So what is my point? It is that we are human. It is “human” to fear, to be anxious and to anguish. Fear is an emotion that we were given by God. It is a good thing!! It is a “God” thing. We are to fear the Lord. It is the beginning of wisdom(Pr 1:7). This not only means “awe” it means fear with trembling. Here it is more plainly stated:

“Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence?”(Jer 5:22)

Remember Tyndale, the man of God who dared to print the Word of God into English so the common man could read the Scriptures? He was rewarded with burning at the stake by the religious authorities of the day. Do you really believe that he was not afraid or fearful when they struck the match and the first flames burned his body? Do not misunderstand, these men were also incredibly bold in their faith, but they were human.

How about Paul when he was stoned or shipwrecked? He was besought on every side. How was he emotionally? Let him tell us:

” For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears”(2 Cor 7:5)

He was fearful within. He was human after all! He tells us this again in his previous correspondence to the Corinthians:

“I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling”(1 Cor 2:3)

This was after Pentecost. I think we have all been led to believe that the Apostles were only fearful before the Holy Spirit filled them on Pentecost (like hiding in the upper room after the Crucifixion, fleeing in the Garden when Jesus was arrested, etc). But no, they were also human after Pentecost…;-)

So how do we reconcile the admonitions cited in your article to “fear not”, when we are trapped within this earthen vessel which is designed to fear? I will offer an explanation, which might be wrong, although it makes much common sense to me.

The Word of God is a love letter to humanity. The Father is a Spirit. He does not have a body. He is the First Person of the Trinity. Jesus is the Second Person, who took for Himself a body. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead who is a Spirit. The Father knew we could relate/commune better with Him through a “like” body as we had. So He took on flesh through His Word, Jesus. The Word of God became flesh(Jn 1:14). The Word(Jesus) is the Written Word. “Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.”(Ps 40:7, Heb 10:7)

The Father knew humanity. After all He made us. He knows our weaknesses and emotional labilities. He took on a body so that He could adopt us as sons and daughters to all who call upon His Name:

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4, 5)

His Word He gave us is our comfort food. It is our loving Father saying “Shhh…” to us as we go through the storms of life. It is our pillow to sink our heads into, it is our close brother who has our back, it is our ombudsman between ourselves and the world. It is the Father saying, “Fear not”.

Have you ever wondered why the Father says, “Fear not” so many times in Scripture if he does not expect us to fear? Of course we fear, we are nervous, anxious, fearful and suffer anguish in this life, but our comforter says, “Shhh…” to us through His Word, and the indwelling Presence of His Holy Spirit in the believer’s heart.

My point again, is it is ludicrous for anyone(William Law in your article), to say “We are out of God’s Will if we fear”. That is like saying we are out of God’s will if we breathe. We will fear, we will be anxious. We are not to let anxiety overwhelm as we have hope. That hope is found in His Word, Jesus, the Written Word who was made Flesh…the Father’s help in times of fear and anxiety, whispering to us through His Word…”Shhh, fear not…”

Blessings,

DocReits

Joni November 11, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I always look for your replies, are you a Pastor? I requested prayer on a previous article and you were the first one to reply. I like how you write in terms that are easy to understand. I am glad you are part of this community, you have helped me along with the the original article. Thank you and I am still grateful for your prayer as well as Brother Jack’s. God Bless you!

DocReits November 11, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Hi Joni,

I am a doctor and a “would be” Christian apologist who really loves God’s Word. I have been a little bit of everything in the church before from janitor, to Sunday School teacher, deacon to treasurer, song leader to youth minister. I think Pastor Jack and I are about the same age which means all of my feathers have been plucked so I can’t get ruffled any longer…;-)

I still have been praying for you and your family every day and expect you to tell us of the answer to your miracle need when it happens. God is faithful…

DocReits

Joni November 12, 2014 at 11:19 am

I will most certainly tell you, and thank you for your continued prayer. I am sure you are a great doctor but in my eyes you are a great minister as well. I try to read on here as much as possible I feel like God sent me here. I do seem to be drawn to Brother Jack’s words I must be close in age as well (56) or maybe it was how I was raised. I am grateful for what the Lord has already done we have one more hurdle. God bless you Doc

Jack Wellman November 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm

I have hit 60 but feel like I am just getting started so we are all very close to the same age. Thank you Joni for your very kind words and I so agree with you about Doc. He is truly someone special and one of the first to look up in the kingdom and now, I can say that about you too. May God richly bless you Joni…and cc that to Doc. You are loved.

Richard Rahme November 11, 2014 at 3:52 am

Just as we get angry God says that we must control our anger.
Just as we fear, God says we must seek comfort in his word and it will help for the fear to subside, maybe not totally subside because God understands we are of the flesh.





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