The beauty and the terror - Hope 103.2

The beauty and the terror

By David ReayMonday 29 Sep 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid,for I am with you.
   Don’t be discouraged,for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
   I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (NLT)

The most common commandment in the Bible does not involve sex or money or prayer. It involves fear. “Fear not” occurs frequently in the Bible. Perhaps because its ultimate author knows just how prone to fear his human creation might be.

There can be a sort of vague,free-floating fear. There can be a fear of a particular thing or person or possibility. In either case,fear grips us by the throat and causes us to lose the light of life,causes us to distort our responses and our perceptions. Fear is the great dark cloud that blocks out the sun of the grace of God.

It is no solution to simply assert there is nothing to be afraid of. In fact there is much in our world which might evoke a response of fear. It seems we don’t minimise fear by pretending all is well when it is not. We rather maximise our perception of God,our grasp of who he is and then place whatever threatens us in that context. This side of heaven there will always be threats to our well-being: some real,some imaginary. But there is also the overarching reality of a powerful and loving God who has us in his hand.

The writer Frederick Buechner puts it well: “Here is the world: beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

David Reay