And that is Good News

Published 7:41 am Monday, April 8, 2019

by Brad McKenzie


No longer controlled by Fear!

I heard a story about a young boy who was helping his mother in the kitchen.  The sun had already gone down, and it was dark outside, especially the back porch.  

His mother asked him to go to the back porch and retrieve a broom.

The boy hesitated and said, “mom, it’s too dark to go out there, I’m afraid.”  

His mother continued to work and replied, “you have nothing to fear, Jesus is out there, and He will be with you!”  

So, the boy stood looking through the screen door out into the darkness.  

After a few moments, he opened the screen door and yelled, “Jesus, if you are really out there, please hand me that broom!”

In Joshua 1:9, the Lord says to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  

This is the third time that the Lord instructs Joshua with this command and includes discouragement and fear.  I am convinced that the enemy wants to cripple the lives of Christians with paralyzing fear.

Discouragement, anxiety and depression runs rampant in our culture.  

Why are there so many people discouraged and depressed these days?  Is it the economy? Is it politics? A constant worry about the future?  I propose that it all stems from fear. Fear can become an overwhelming shadow of darkness that controls our lives.  We can be freed from fear when we replace fear with something else.

During the season of Lent, Christians practice fasting.  Some fast meals, or a food or even Facebook. Fasting is not just doing without, but utilizing the time spent eating or doing an activity to instead pray and meditate on the meaning of Easter and new life.

It is replacing the ordinary with the sacred.  

What if you spent the final two weeks of Lent fasting fear and replacing it with God’s Love?  What if you fasted it beyond Easter? The more fear you remove from your life, the more you can love God, love your neighbor and love yourself.  

When we take God at His word and trust Him, we are no longer controlled by fear, but we are liberated to thrive in God’s grace.  God’s love through Christ’s blood has defeated fear, and that is Good News!

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Frist Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.