From Fear to Faith in 40 Days

To the Ukrainian mother holding a child in her arms while war erupts around her… to the son or daughter holding their parent’s hand for perhaps the last time… to the one who is left holding memories after losing a spouse to death or divorce…to the person who is holding onto hope for their loved one to come home…to anyone holding on to the fear of losing what they love most, whether it’s a person, a possession or a way of life…


Jesus said: “In this world you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.


On this Ash Wednesday, we don’t need dust on our foreheads to remind us of our own mortality. In these troubled times, it’s impossible not to feel the brevity of life. We need hope and the ashes are a symbol of the hope we have in Christ. On this Ash Wednesday, as we are surrounded by war and rumors of wars, sickness, famines, fuel shortages and rising prices – let us have hope that Jesus overcame the world, and we will too.


We must not forget that Jesus was a human, just like the rest of us. While Jesus was fully God, he suffered, bled and wept while living in the flesh. Jesus experienced what we are going through, he died and he rose from the dead. He truly overcame all that this life threw at him.


Ash Wednesday marks the 40-day period of Lent in which we confess our sins in preparation for Easter. Many people give up chocolate or some other indulgence during the season of Lent. I’m proposing we give up fear. Fear has no place in the resurrection life. Jesus’ resurrection conquered what people fear most—the fear of dying and the fear of losing someone we love by separation through death.


“Perfect love drives out fear” 1 John 4:18.


The purpose of Lent, is to focus even more intently on our discipleship so we may be perfected in love. The more we focus on the love Christ has for us, the less we will feel the grip of fear. Let us keep our eyes steady on Christ in this season and his love for us. Let us experience the miracle of the risen Christ this Easter with a renewed faith in God’s ability to do the impossible in us too.


And may all of God’s people say “Amen.”





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