From the Pastors' Desks

To Fear or to Fear Not

2

Isn’t the snow beautiful?! One of the benefits of living in West Michigan is we get to experience the loveliest, snow-globe, lake effect, powder white snow! I’ve found this to be a wonderful tonic for my normal post-holiday blues. In a world where so much is dark and grimy and gray – God sends something that is gloriously clean and pure and white! I love it.

I heard from several people that the sermon this past Sunday night was a great blessing to them. It seems to have touched a nerve. The name of that nerve is “fear”.  We all have it. We would all like to be rid of it. So, when God says “Fear not” and gives us glorious reasons for comfort and courage, it matters.

I’m forwarding you a thoughtful article by Kristin Couch entitled “Fear Not”. Here’s a snippet.

We are a funny people: planning, mapping, strategizing. We purchase gym memberships and anti-wrinkle creams, free-range this and organic that, paralyzed by anxiety of our inevitable aging and death, fearful of missing out on a life-changing blurb awaiting us on social media, and agonizing over insufficient retirement funds.
We rage against our story.
What beauty might erupt, if this year we chose instead to press into our own narrative, divinely written by God our Maker? Palms held loosely open,(Your will, God, not mine)humbly and graciously accepting his path, trusting him implicitly by way of adoration and bowed obedience?

I love that thought. What beauty might erupt this year if we chose to press into the narrative divinely written for our lives by the One who loved us and gave His Only Son so that He might lavishly bless us in Him? What would you do if you really believed that your God was as good and gracious as He says He is? What fear could you let go of?  What grudge could you release? What grace could you offer to others? What generosity could you show?

May the beauty of divine love and grace erupt in our lives and flow to others in 2022.

 

In His Service,

Pastor Dale Van Dyke

2 Comments

Hi Barb, I'm so glad that the Lord encouraged your heart with His Word, and with good news. It's an amazing thought, isn't it?? The Living God claims us as His people and promises to be "our God". Praise the Lord. Thanks for your prayers. I will keep you in mine as well!
We had to remain home last Sunday and Living Hope's livestream was not workig so the Lord gave us his Lord's Day blessing morning and evening from Harvest. It meant so much to us. My chemo had been postponed 3 weeks to allow for 5 radiation treat ents which went well. But as we went through the 4 days leading up to Friday fear so gripped me that it might not be able to take place again because the sores they were trying to eradicate so as to prevennt infection were still there but no longer actively bleeding. We prayed and prayed and so did many others but by Thursday I just asked the Lord to be in complete control of the decision made. The oncologist examined me and said it was a go and when i walked out my heart rejoiced to know that now i knew it would be ok to start treatment. Our day was beautiful, the sun was shining and we knew the Lord's command...."Fear not for I will be with you, be not dismayed for I am your God. All during the week I kept liste ing to the sermons over and over. Russ printecd tnhem out and OPC now we have them always. We will pray for your upcoming trip to the MTIOPC class.

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