Do not be dismayed!

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

“There are 29 references to the word dismay in the Old Testament, nearly all of them have to do with the instruction “do not be dismayed”.  This is a word that we seldom use today but means to be intimidated, discouraged or thoroughly disheartened. I cannot think what word more aptly describes the situation in which we currently find ourselves, as we are about to enter the third year of living with the Covid-19 virus. Yet if we look at these passages more closely, they are not just repeated directives to soothe the Israelite’s fears, rather it was a reassurance each time that God was in the picture, that He was right there with them all the time and would continue to be with them in whatever they faced.”

from Casting Out Fear by Dr. David Jeremiah

Later, God’s presence was not always so visible or tangible and Jesus knew that as he left this earth, his followers would need similar reassurance, so in the New Testament we find Jesus comforting His disciples with these words:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

How can we possibly not be troubled when there is so much to worry about… perhaps the threat of unemployment is looming, you have a wayward child, someone who is ill never gets better despite years of prayer and whatever hardship or trial you may be facing can be listed here as well. And yet, I believe the secret is to trust in the sovereignty of God or as Nicky Gumbel of HTB London puts it,

“As I look back on my life I realize how many times I have worried unnecessarily. If only I had trusted God completely, I would have saved myself so much turmoil.”

The opposite of dismayed is to be encouraged or emboldened and to be calm. As we learn more and more to trust Him, believing He is with us and He is sovereign over our lives and the lives of those we love, we can face life’s challenges with a sense of peace and the absence of dismay.

Can you feel your heart begin to race?
Can you see the tide begin to change?
With all of our futures rearranged
The world will never be the same

For God is with us
God is with us

For God is with Us (Song by For King & Country)

Dear Lord,

When I feel dismayed and discouraged, please help me to trust that You are sovereign, that You are in control and that You are with us always, even when we may not feel it. Increase our trust so that we can be at peace in a troubled world.

In Jesus‘ name, Amen

The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.

Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.

We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.

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