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12/27/2016

FEAR TURNED INTO JOY

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring
you good news of great joy" (Luke 2:10).
 
The days before Christmas were anxious times of worry
for me. What if I ended up with a stocking full of coal?
And of course there was always the dreaded children's
Christmas program! But the days after Christmas were
simply glorious: playing with our Christmas toys,
listening to Christmas music, eating Christmas cookies.
Life was good!
 
When the shepherds first saw the brightness of the
angel, and the surpassing brightness of God's own glory,
they were gripped with fear. But as the angel announced
the birth of God's Son, their great fear gave way to
greater joy. Life was good!
 
Life was really good for our first parents Adam and Eve.
God created them perfect and good. They knew God
loved them, and they knew they could depend on Him to
faithfully provide all their needs. Fear didn't enter the
picture until they disobeyed His command and ate the
forbidden fruit. At that moment, their perfect knowledge
of God was replaced with fear and dread of His wrath and
punishment.
 
We still live under that fear too. It's a fear that comes
from not knowing God perfectly or trusting Him completely.
When times are bad or when troubles come upon us, we
find it difficult to fully lean on Him. But that's why Jesus
came, to take our guilt upon Himself and pay the penalty
for our sins in His suffering and death on the cross. With
all sins removed and death completely conquered by
Jesus' death and resurrection, there is nothing left to fear.
Life is good indeed!
 
THE PRAYER:
 
Heavenly Father, we rejoice that You sent Your Son to
remove our fear by taking upon Himself the punishment
we deserve. Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts
forever. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
 
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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