the faith to which we’re called when faced with fear

There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment. Wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God. Not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sharon Brown, a pastor, spiritual director, professor, and wonderful writer herself, used to tell us to never act from the impulse of fear. Or for that matter, we could say, fail to act.

The devil is likened to a roaring lion, seeking whom it may devour (1 Peter 5:8-9). The lion roars, they say, –especially old lions, who are more in need of this advantage, no longer as nimble as they once were– to terrify their prey, and make it frozen in its tracks, so as to be able to pounce on it. While we do need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, even that is still in the context of being sent out as sheep among wolves (Matthew 10:16).

We who know scripture much at all, and the teaching of the faith, know enough, for example that we’re to trust in God when we’re afraid. But sometimes we simply have to wait on God to make that real in our hearts and lives. God allows fear to come to be overcome for God’s good will and purposes in Jesus. Both in changing us more and more into the image of Jesus, and that Jesus and the good news in him might be made known.

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