The Thought for the Week this week was written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey

“Don't be afraid!” (Mark 6:50 NLT)

We read again and again, in the Bible, the words Don't be afraid and how relevant these words are to all of us. There are so many situations in our lives when we are vulnerable to fear, or sometimes our lives are shadowed by some unknown, unnamed fear that we can't quite put our finger on despite feeling the effect of it clouding our lives. Of course, we may know exactly what our fear is - that spiders or snakes cause an irrational terror to rise up within us or maybe it's a fear of heights or of the dark? The list is endless. Of course, there's a human way of dealing with this – to avoid spiders or heights, or whatever our worst fear is, but it's really no freedom at all. The problem is still there inside us. Or maybe we worry? Worrying about the kids, or coming exams or the future – and we can't lock ourselves away from that. Worry follows us everywhere we go. Even if we lock the doors and windows and curl up under the duvet, worry is still there. Let's face it, worry is just fear in another guise. So, what's the answer? What's the way out of fear and worry? The very next thing Jesus said, after He said, don't be afraid, was “Take courage, it is I!” There lies the secret! As we look to Jesus the fear begins to fade and die, as we look to Him the waves are stilled and we reach a safe haven. As it says in another place, “Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18). Fear cannot remain where Jesus is. Lift your eyes from the merciless waves of worry and fear and look to the One who commands the storm and the waves, “Be still!” (Mark 4:39)