10 Weekly Spiritual Habits: A Guide to Cultivation

Outside the Tomb (Day 1)

"Do not be afraid" – Matthew 28:5
The two Marys at Jesus' tomb could have reasonably given in to the emotion of fear. According to Matthew 28:2–4:

“There was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they became like dead men.”

If these strong, trained Roman guards were so terrified that they "fell like dead men," then these Jewish women could easily fall into the same category. However, the angel who speaks to them begins by telling them “Do not to be afraid”. Fear is something that affects everyone to some extent.

Fear is not something that we have to search for in our lives, it comes and finds us. A medical diagnosis, financial circumstances, or a variety of other factors can all contribute to fear. God knows that fear is something that not only we, but people throughout history, have struggled with. In fact, there are 70 instances in Scripture where people are encouraged, "Do not be afraid."

The reality is that when we have fear in our hearts, it affects our faith. When we are anxious or worried, we are, at our core, questioning the faithfulness and goodness of God. For example, while we may be dealing with the fear of a medical diagnosis, the presence of fear reveals that part of our heart is not able to trust God’s sovereignty, faithfulness, and power. This journey of growing in our faith and trusting in God is not something we complete on this side of eternity. Consistently, as we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we will still wrestle with fully trusting and fully submitting to the things of God.

God, please take my fears and worries and deal with them. Bring the facets of my faith that doubt has stifled back to life.

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