Jesus, whom the disciples had put their faith in had been crucified and buried. Just imagine how they felt. Fear would be a viable emotion considering what they were facing. If the Jews would kill Jesus, wouldn’t they seek to kill his followers also? So they scattered and we find them hiding away behind a locked door.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!2 Cor. 5: 17
So, where do we go from here? Do we let fear overcome our faith? It’s in Christ that we can be restored, just as he restored the faith of the disciples. They were able to carry on sharing the gospel and doing many of the things that Jesus had done once the Holy Spirit was breathed on them.
But what about us? What does this mean? It means that we live in a world that is broken. We need to be restored and who can do that better than the one who created us?
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Eph. 2: 10
The Resurrection is the final act and the beginning step in our restoration and one of the first things it addresses is our fears.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you! After he said this he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.John 20: 19-20
As we become restored, our fears pale in comparison to our faith because we have the peace and power of the Resurrection.
We fear out of a perceived loss of control.
The disciples feared what they did in abandoning Jesus. They hid out of this fear, thinking they may face persecution, the mob mentality, and death. We grab onto what we know when we are reeling from fear.
We are afraid out of two things: unbelief and the unknown. Some of us may have been told that fear is sin and so we feel ashamed. God has given us our emotions for a reason. We have a choice of how to deal with our fear. We either act out of fear or out of faith.
The Bible tells us to “fear not” 365 times. That’s enough for each day of the year!
It’s inevitable that we are going to be afraid sometimes. It’s been a tough year and we’ve dealt with all kinds of fear. But fear will rob us of our courage if we let it. We have to stop worshiping fear and turn to God instead. We trust in the waiting. If our fear goes unchecked it can lead us to sin.
God is in control. We must trust in Him. Don’t get caught up in what you don’t understand.
When people say they want things to go back to the way they were…that’s what led us to where we are! This pandemic didn’t change is, it revealed who we are.
So, Christ enters the room. He doesn’t shame them for their fears or doubt. He shows them peace. They see his scars. He assures them that there is a plan.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”John 20: 21-22
God’s breath is amazing. It breathed life into Adam in Genesis and that same breath gave his disciples the Holy Spirit – the same Holy Spirit that is available to us when we accept Jesus as our Savior and it brings restoration.
This restoration led to the disciples coming out of hiding and changing the world.
So, how do we act out of faith? I love the dialogue with God that our pastor shared with us.
- I don’t know how you’re goin to do it.
- I’m trying to not hold you to my expectations of how you should do it, (this is what got the Jews in trouble)
- I’m going to put my trust in that you will do it.
- I’m going to praise you however you choose to do it.
- Remember that faith and confidence can be easily shaken. Satan depends on it.
- Fear distorts our vision. It’s critical for us to remember all that God has done.
- What He has done in the past sets precedent for what he will do in the future.
- Jesus shows us who he is through His Word and the witness of others.
- He offers us peace and through this, we can chase off fear.
- Through this resurrected life we are restored
Jesus, thank you for helping me see that I can trust in you. You’ve always been there to help me through the troubling times in the past. Because of this, I know you’ll be there in the future. Thank you for the people you’ve brought into my life who remind me of this on a regular basis. In Jesus’ name, Amen.