Oh no! Not another religious, mystic, mumbo jumbo statement! Not another seeming contradiction, not another senseless combination of words, you might as well say: ‘when I am fat, then I am thin’ or ‘when I am black’, then I am white’ or juxtapose any two opposites and pass it off as ‘wisdom’.
At the very least the above highlights the dangers of quoting a passage of the Bible out of context. So let’s just get some…
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he writes:
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12 v 7 – 10
It’s exam time and for many of you that means a large amount of stress and anxiety and fear. For me, it means writing this as a guilt free form of procrastination so I don’t have to revise. I can’t say exam stress is a particular affliction of mine.
But let’s get this straight: I am worried, stressed, fearful and anxious about a whole lot of other stuff. I’m afraid I’ll be single my whole life, I’m worried that I don’t know what to do with my life, I’m anxious about the expense of moving out next year, I’m troubled about my church, I worry what people think about me, I stress out about the uncertainty of the future, I’m terrified of drowning, I like being in control, I fear not being in control, I fear not knowing, I fear not being able to do anything to influence the direction of my life, I fear poverty, I fear illness, I fear loneliness, I fear being ignored…And that’s just the big stuff. On a micro level I fear that the text I just sent will be misinterpreted, I fear no one will like my ‘amusing’ status update (pathetic, I know), I fear that I’ll be thrust into a social situation I’m not comfortable with…
I fear because in this sinful, fallen and painful world there is so much to fear. Bu
And it wasn’t until today that I fully realised this because it wasn’t until today that I watched this:
It’s a sermon by Mark Driscoll on Luke 12 where Jesus says: “Do not fear, little flock.” and proceeds to tell us why we shouldn’t fear. I strongly urge you to watch it. In fact, I literally beg that you watch it because we are all afraid of something and we all need help.
Usually I’d try and summarise what Mark was saying but I’m not going to this time. If you struggle with fear, correction, you do struggle with fear, stress and anxiety so you need to invest a single hour of your time and watch the sermon.
What are you still reading this for? Watch it!
"Fear not little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Luke 12 v 32
On a certain level this would appear true. Tolerance is proclaimed but try suggesting Christian morals are the absolutes society should follow. Religious discrimination is bad except when that religion happens to be Christianity. Religious freedom is good except when that freedom extends to a nurse praying with patients, a registrar refusing to marry gay partners to fire chiefs banning prayers at Remembrance Day service. Headscarves are in whilst Christian jewellery is out. All over the world there are Christians who are persecuted, tortured and killed for their beliefs. All over the world there are Christians who are not free to worship the God they believe in. All over the world Christians are martyrs for Christ.