Is fear holding you back?
Jesus is calling you to come close to Him. He is speaking tenderly to you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
How will you respond? Are you afraid to come close to Him?
We can’t afford to let fear govern our relationship with Jesus. Jesus is God’s plan to meet our deepest human needs and to prepare us to spend eternity with Him.
Why do we need to come close to Jesus, anyway?
Because we need Him desperately. We need the salvation Jesus has purchased for us with His own blood – forgiveness of sins, a restored relationship with God, and assurance of heaven. We also need Jesus’ presence and power as we live life on a daily basis.
Only Jesus can give us the power to resist sin and live a holy life that will be a witness to unbelievers that God is real. Only Jesus can provide the wisdom, direction, comfort, strength, and healing we need as we encounter the trials and storms of life.
We need to come close to Jesus. We must overcome the fear that would hold us back. The Bible, God’s inspired Word, tells us how. It contains truth that will “set us free”.
Fear stems from wrong perception.
One of the most powerful ways to overcome fear is to correct our perception of God’s character. What is He like? How does He feel about us? God’s descriptions of Himself in Exodus 34 and Psalm 103 should give us much encouragement.
“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished…”’
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness…Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear [Or revere] Him.”
What is the first word God uses to describe Himself?
Compassionate. “Compassionate” means having “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering” (dictionary.com).
God has pity and mercy on us, and has a strong desire to alleviate our suffering. Compassion moved Him to send Jesus to rescue us from judgment for our sin and an eternity in hell.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the exact image of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3). During Jesus’ earthly ministry, Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). Jesus was God’s will in action.
The Bible records that Jesus was often “moved with compassion”. His strong desire to alleviate peoples’ suffering moved Him to teach them, heal them, feed them, and even raise their dead (Mark 6:34; Matthew 14:14 and 15:32; Luke 7:13-15).
We don’t need to be afraid to come close to Jesus. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He never changes. As He had compassion during His earthly ministry, so He has compassion on us today.
Change your mind, eliminate fear, and draw near.
Let God’s Word renew your mind concerning Jesus’ feelings toward you. Take a few minutes to think on the Scriptures below. Thank Jesus for His compassion toward you.
Matthew 9:36 “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (“and He began to teach them many things” – Mark 6:34).
Matthew 14:14 “When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
Luke 7:13 “When the Lord saw [the widow whose son had just died], He felt compassion for her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’” (Then He brought her dead son back to life.)
Mark 1:41 “Moved with compassion, Jesus stretch out His hand and touched [the leper], and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’”
Matthew 15:32 “And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, ‘I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’” (Then Jesus did a miracle and fed the people.)
Do you have a comment, question, or testimony to share?
Your questions and input can be an encouragement to other readers. Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.