Monday, January 7, 2019

Reflection - God Saves - Experience of fear

Source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 3, Question 2, Page 44.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012

 

Do you think the pagan sailors were converted?
PHOTO: Do you think the pagan sailors were converted? Reflect on their experience of fear and on how it became a journey towards God.
When the storm first broke, the sailors were described as being afraid (Jonah 1:5); but now, on hearing what Jonah said, notice that they were terrified (Jonah 1:10). What was it that frightened them so much? Jonah had told them earlier that he was running away from the Lord (Jonah 1:10), and now he was declaring that the same God he was fleeing had made the sea and the land. The sailors immediately recognised the importance of those words. They had just encountered the Word of God - which told them about His nature and character - and they were rightfully terrified. This is the proper response to the revelation of God; even the godliest of prophets and apostles fell on their faces when God revealed himself to them (Ezekiel 1:28, Daniel 10:9; Revelation 1:17).

As the waves grew higher, Jonah told the sailors matter-of-factly, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea" (Jonah 1:12). He believed that God would calm the sea and spare the sailors if they threw him overboard, because he thought that God was only pursuing him, not them. Jonah was only partly correct, however, God did indeed calm the sea, but He was after more than just one errant prophet, and He would use the events to turn the pagan sailors to Him. He would open their hearts and eyes, so that they would turn to Him for mercy and salvation.

Ironically, in contrast to Jonah's lack of concern for the Ninevites, the sailors exhibited a decent measure of compassion in not carrying out his suggestion immediately, and did their best to row back to land instead (Jonah 1:13). But the sea grew wilder. The sailors then took the next step in their journey of fear: they began crying out to the Lord (Jonah 1:14). Those who had begun by calling out to their own idols were now calling out to the living God. The gracious God was using the words of a disobedient prophet to lead the pagan sailors to a true knowledge of Him.

From being afraid to being terrified, the sailors then proceeded to fearing God. When they saw the sea grow calm immediately after throwing Jonah overboard, they realised the greatness and reality of his God. And more than just expressing superficial relief, they learned to revere this God: "At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him" (Jonah 1:16). Unlike Jonah, the men's fear of God did not lead them to run away from Him, but to turn to Him in worship. Scholars differ in their opinions on whether the sailors were actually converted, but there is enough evidence in the text to suggest that this was indeed the case.

Struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors. While the prophet was fighting for his life, the sailors were now worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them. How amazing, that God can use a reluctant, disobedient prophet to carry out His sovereign plans!

With the help of a concordance, made a list of what the Bible says about the fear of God.
Bible Verses about Fear Of God
 
Psalm 115:13
He will bless those who fear the LORD, The small together with the great.

Psalm 128:1-4
A song of ascents.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.

Proverbs 10:27
The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

Proverbs 22:4
The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life.

Proverbs 28:14
How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Psalm 33:18-19
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 34:7
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.

Psalm 85:9
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.

Psalm 145:19
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Psalm 147:11
The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

Proverbs 15:16
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

Luke 1:50
AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.

Psalm 25:12
Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

Ecclesiastes 7:18
It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them.

Isaiah 33:6
And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

Psalm 103:11
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

Psalm 115:11
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.
   
Proverbs 14:26-27
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Malachi 3:16-17
Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. "They will be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him."

Malachi 4:2
"But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall."

Revelation 11:18
"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

Psalm 34:9
O fear the LORD, you His saints; for those who fear him lack nothing.

Psalm 111:5
He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.

Reflect on your own fears, both healthy and unhealthy, and assess how they bring you to God or take you away from Him.
We've seen how the sailor's fear of God led to their salvation, and how Jonah, in contrast, failed to fear the God that he professed in his own doctrine. How can we apply this insight today? Perhaps we can start asking ourselves these questions:

First, do we fear God? Many fears keep us from the one fear that will save us. Such lesser fears may be those of failure, rejection, condemnation, pain, and suffering, or the loss of freedom and possessions. The fear of God, however, removes all other fears. To fear God is to fear nothing else any longer. It is essential in walking with Him. It is the beginning of true wisdom for life (Proverbs 9:10), and it leads us to life (Proverbs 19:23). It keep us from sinning (Exodus 20:20). It is the key to the Lord's rich store of salvation, spiritual knowledge, and wisdom (Isaiah 33:6). It brings intimacy with God, as we see His purposes and plans (Psalm 25:14). It enables us to consecrate ourselves totally to Him and withhold nothing from Him (Genesis 22:12), so that we can truly serve Him (Deuteronomy 6:13).

There is little fear of God today, even though we may profess to fear the Lord and claim to know the importance of doing so. One of the significant characteristics of the New Testament church was that "everyone was filled with awe" (Acts 2:43). The Greek word for "awe" is phobos - from which we get the English "phobia" - which means "fear". Perhaps many Christians have become so accustomed to the words and things of God that there is no more fear of Him in them. We can learn a lesson or two from the pagan sailors who responded to Jonah's words with great, trembling fear.

As the sailors discovered, we must acknowledge to God that "you, Lord, have done as you pleased" (Jonah 1:14). Within a short time, the crucible of the fearful storm had produced a belief, and language, in the sailors that was sound both theologically and liturgically (cf. Psalm 115:3; 135:6). The faithful response of the pagans as depicted in the book of Jonah is not only surprising, but also challenging, when compared with the unfaithful response of Israel and Jonah. But God's pleasure is not just about His sovereignty and will; it is also about our salvation. He is pleased when we turn to Him in faith; it pleases the Father's heart when the prodigals return to Him.

Fear
Fear - A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.

Healthy Fear

Not all fear is harmful, however; there is to be a place in the heart of the Christian for the right kind of fear... - extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.

When we would like to spent hours in the Park Connector Networks (PCN) for our daily pre-dawn walk and exercises, we would fear the raining weather with flashing lightning and thunders. Beside the weather, we also have fear of those in the forest: Monkeys, stray dogs, monitor lizards, snakes, and falling trees. When we are unable to determine the dangers but already out along the forested road, then praying to the Lord for help has become the usual practice. This healthy fear also enable us to take the available safer path, away from the dangers. When it is already too late, then we will be running intensely towards Him for safety. This is the moment when our fears fully require His supreme power for protection, guidance, and provision of the shelter from all the dangers of nature.

Unhealthy Fear
Fear causes problems to seem greater than they really are
With exaggerated fears of the problems we face, we think the problems are overwhelming. For example, migrating to a faraway oversea country to live and work. We will expect to face language, cultural, and livelihood problems. We may have to leave behind our love ones, friends, and familiar places. We may develop, and are overwhelm by Panic, Phobia, and Psychotic fears, that causes severe mental imbalance leading to disaster.

Fear that prevents us from enjoying the blessings we have and interacting with others:
One who fears cannot be at peace and know true joy. For example, attending Sunday Mass in a church may be a daunting task because we are unable to sing and behave like the others could. We feel uncomfortable, especially having to sit with the "elites". The feeling is the same as an employee sitting beside the CEO of the company. They talk differently, with incomprehensible concepts, and highly theological methodology. It is very stressful, and there is no real peace, and no true joy. So we end up not attending Church's Mass and other events. Those places appear unsuitable for common Christians.

Fear that hinders our ability to be of service to God
Fear of people, fear of failure, often hinder Christians in their service; e.g., personal evangelism, spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ to a powerful atheists who are intimidating. It is like talking to lawyers or professional speakers, when in comparison, we can't even speak properly. Intimidating people can cause others to feel helpless and lose their enthusiasm to perform. Because we will ended up being "silenced".

Fear that motivates us to disobey God
Certain fears often prompt us to do things which are displeasing to God.  For example, Fear of failure, and rejection by friends, especially the opposite sex. Such fears have often led young people to express inappropriately, get in with the wrong crowd (drinking excessively), and give in to improper sexual advances. In desperation, these fears may drive one to the Church seeking not only Salvation for the soul, but also love for opposite sex. Ultimately facing greater disappointment, and unfruitful accomplishment.

Healthy Fear vs Unhealthy Fear
Healthy Fear is not hard to recognize - there is an external circumstance that warrants fear and helps us to deal with circumstance without being overwhelmed.

Healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose. Healthy fear is stimulated by real threatening danger and then disappears when that danger is no longer present. Being faced with what could be a matter of life or death, healthy fear encourages or requires us to take action. Taking action out of healthy fear rarely results in any feelings of shame. Good reason stands to have been fearful, and the fear-based action had clear motives: to get out of the way of danger.

All other types represent a mental incapacity from mild to severe, and mental imbalance always creates risk and sometimes disaster.

Unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal. Unhealthy fear is stimulated by perceived or imagined danger - which usually isn’t dangerous at all. While healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose, unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal. Since there is no clear directive from unhealthy fear, rather than inspiring us to take action it causes paralysis. Neither defending ourselves nor confronting the fear can lead to shameful feelings. Lastly, since there is no real definition of the fear, there aren’t any clear motives for taking action on it. Unhealthy fear is illogical, oftentimes irrational, and mostly without use.

Through recovery, we learn to face our fears - both healthy and unhealthy. We feel equipped to do so because of our trust and faith in God, or the Higher Power of our understanding. It is impossible to be in faith and fear at the same time. If we replace our unhealthy fears with unending faith, we will be amazed by how quickly our fears will fade.

Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God has our best interest at heart. When we doubt that, we are instantaneously in fear. Most of our unhealthy fear comes from an ultimate source of mistrust in God. It’s the impending what if. What if God forsakes me? What if God has forgotten about me? What if God just doesn’t love me? What if I am broken, different, deficient, or not worth the miracle of God’s love and mercy? Shaken to the core of our faithful foundation there is nowhere to go but fear.

Psalm 27:1 illuminates this contradiction, "The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?" Then, Romans 8:31 highlights the indisputable truth: If God is for us who could possibly be against us?

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers;
Fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals;
Fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable and, most of all; Fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in it’'s God.”

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Do you think the pagan sailors were converted? Reflect on their experience of fear and on how it became a journey towards God. With the help of a concordance, made a list of what the Bible says about the fear of God. Reflect on your own fears, both healthy and unhealthy, and assess how they bring you to God or take you away from Him.

Do you think the pagan sailors were converted? Reflect on their experience of fear and on how it became a journey towards God.

From Fear to Salvation: Conversion of the Sailors [1]
When the sea turned into a cauldron (a situation characterized by instability and strong emotions) of engulfing waves, the sailors lost their courage (Jonah 1:4-5). Experienced as they were, they were shocked by the storm. It looked like it was the end for them. So they tried whatever they could to save themselves. Apart from throwing out the cargo to lighten the ship and increase their chances against the surging waves, they also cried out to their gods, each man to his own god. These sailors were not Jews; as it is often the case today, they were likely a mixed crew of various ethnic groups, each with his own beliefs and religion.



When the sea turned into a cauldron (a situation characterized by instability and strong emotions) of engulfing waves, the sailors lost their courage (Jonah 1:4-5).
PHOTO: When the sea turned into a cauldron (a situation characterized by instability and strong emotions) of engulfing waves, the sailors lost their courage (Jonah 1:4-5). They cried out to their gods, each man to his own god. They were likely a mixed crew of various ethnic groups, each with his own beliefs and religion.
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https://pastorkaren.org/2017/10/23/our-gracious-and-merciful-god/



When people are afraid, they naturally call upon the supernatural for help. It has been said that on the battlefield, there are no atheists in foxholes. When the bombs are falling, soldiers cowering in their dugout shelters can do little but pray to be delivered. People stuck in sinking ships and crashing planes are likely to do the same.

Sensing that the storm was no ordinary phenomenon, and that there was something supernatural involved, the sailors decided to cast lots to divine which of them was responsible for the calamity (Jonah 1:7). God clearly directed the result, because the guilty lot fell upon Jonah. As Numbers 32:23 notes, one's sin will eventually find one out. When Achan, an Israelite, plundered some treasures from the city of Jericho - despite God's express prohibitions - he was found out when lots were cast (Joshua 7).



Sensing that the storm was no ordinary phenomenon, and that there was something supernatural involved, the sailors decided to cast lots to divine which of them was responsible for the calamity (Jonah 1:7).
PHOTO: Sensing that the storm was no ordinary phenomenon, and that there was something supernatural involved, the sailors decided to cast lots to divine which of them was responsible for the calamity (Jonah 1:7). God clearly directed the result, because the guilty lot fell upon Jonah.
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We must give credit to the sailors, however, for not immediately throwing Jonah overboard or beating him to death after they found out that he was the cause of the storm. Instead, they sought to know more about him, asking him a series of questions. "Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from?" (Jonah 1:8). Jonah's answer was a simple one: "I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of Heaven, who made the sea and the dry land" (Jonah 1:9).



The sailors did not immediately throw Jonah overboard or beating him to death after they found out that he was the cause of the storm.
PHOTO: The sailors did not immediately throw Jonah overboard or beating him to death after they found out that he was the cause of the storm. Instead, they sought to know more about him, asking him a series of questions.
Photo Credit: Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing
Picture posted by Christopher L. Scott on 21 September 2015

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When the storm first broke, the sailors were described as being afraid (Jonah 1:5); but now, on hearing what Jonah said, notice that they were terrified (Jonah 1:10). What was it that frightened them so much? Jonah had told them earlier that he was running away from the Lord (Jonah 1:10), and now he was declaring that the same God he was fleeing had made the sea and the land. The sailors immediately recognised the importance of those words. They had just encountered the Word of God - which told them about His nature and character - and they were rightfully terrified. This is the proper response to the revelation of God; even the godliest of prophets and apostles fell on their faces when God revealed himself to them (Ezekiel 1:28, Daniel 10:9; Revelation 1:17).



When the storm first broke, the sailors were described as being afraid (Jonah 1:5)
PHOTO: When the storm first broke, the sailors were described as being afraid (Jonah 1:5); but now, on hearing what Jonah said, notice that they were terrified (Jonah 1:10). They had just encountered the Word of God - which told them about His nature and character - and they were rightfully terrified. This is the proper response to the revelation of God; even the godliest of prophets and apostles fell on their faces when God revealed himself to them (Ezekiel 1:28, Daniel 10:9; Revelation 1:17).
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As the waves grew higher, Jonah told the sailors matter-of-factly, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea" (Jonah 1:12). He believed that God would calm the sea and spare the sailors if they threw him overboard, because he thought that God was only pursuing him, not them. Jonah was only partly correct, however, God did indeed calm the sea, but He was after more than just one errant prophet, and He would use the events to turn the pagan sailors to Him. He would open their hearts and eyes, so that they would turn to Him for mercy and salvation.



Jonah thought that God was only pursuing him, not the sailors.
PHOTO: Jonah thought that God was only pursuing him, not the sailors. Jonah was only partly correct, God did indeed calm the sea, but He was after more than just one errant prophet, and He would use the events to turn the pagan sailors to Him. He would open their hearts and eyes, so that they would turn to Him for mercy and salvation.
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Ironically, in contrast to Jonah's lack of concern for the Ninevites, the sailors exhibited a decent measure of compassion in not carrying out his suggestion immediately, and did their best to row back to land instead (Jonah 1:13). But the sea grew wilder. The sailors then took the next step in their journey of fear: they began crying out to the Lord (Jonah 1:14). Those who had begun by calling out to their own idols were now calling out to the living God. The gracious God was using the words of a disobedient prophet to lead the pagan sailors to a true knowledge of Him.



The sailors did their best to row back to land.
PHOTO: The sailors did their best to row back to land. But the sea grew wilder. The sailors then took the next step in their journey of fear: they began crying out to the Lord (Jonah 1:14). Those who had begun by calling out to their own idols were now calling out to the living God. The gracious God was using the words of a disobedient prophet to lead the pagan sailors to a true knowledge of Him.
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Finally, they had no choice and prayed to the Lord to be spared for throwing His prophet into the raging sea. The "hurling" of Jonah into the sea (Jonah 1:15 ESV) thus ended a series of "hurling" actions: God hurling a great wind to produce a violent storm at Sea (Jonah 1:4 ESV), and the sailors hurling their cargo into the sea (Jonah 1:5 ESV). The word used here for "hurled" is also used elsewhere in the Bible to describe how an object such as a spear or javelin is thrown (1 Samuel 18:11; 20:33). In Jonah: A Study in Compassion, Bible scholar O. Palmer Robertson observes that when God does the hurling, "He takes careful aim at the chosen target, and with all his strength he 'hurls' his chosen weapon." [12]

 

The sailors had no choice and prayed to the Lord to be spared for throwing His prophet into the raging sea.
PHOTO: The sailors had no choice and prayed to the Lord to be spared for throwing His prophet into the raging sea.
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From being afraid to being terrified, the sailors then proceeded to fearing God. When they saw the sea grow calm immediately after throwing Jonah overboard, they realised the greatness and reality of his God. And more than just expressing superficial relief, they learned to revere this God: "At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him" (Jonah 1:16). Unlike Jonah, the men's fear of God did not lead them to run away from Him, but to turn to Him in worship. Scholars differ in their opinions on whether the sailors were actually converted, [13] but there is enough evidence in the text to suggest that this was indeed the case.

 

When the sailors saw the sea grow calm immediately after throwing Jonah overboard, they realised the greatness and reality of his God.
PHOTO: When the sailors saw the sea grow calm immediately after throwing Jonah overboard, they realised the greatness and reality of his God. Unlike Jonah, the men's fear of God did not lead them to run away from Him, but to turn to Him in worship.
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Struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors. While the prophet was fighting for his life, the sailors were now worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them. How amazing, that God can use a reluctant, disobedient prophet to carry out His sovereign plans! Writer R. T. Kendall notes in Jonah: An Exposition that God can "use a crooked stick to draw a straight line". [14]

 

Struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors.

PHOTO: Struggling in the swirling waters, Jonah did not realise that God had just used him to save the sailors.
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While the prophet was fighting for his life, the sailors were now worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them.
PHOTO: While the prophet was fighting for his life, the sailors were now worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them.
Picture saved from Matt Wallace

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With the help of a concordance, made a list of what the Bible says about the fear of God.

Bible Verses about Fear Of God [2] 
Psalm 115:13
He will bless those who fear the LORD, The small together with the great.

Psalm 128:1-4
A song of ascents.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.

Proverbs 10:27
The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

Proverbs 22:4
The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life.

Proverbs 28:14
How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Psalm 33:18-19
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 34:7
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.

Psalm 85:9
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.

Psalm 145:19
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Psalm 147:11
The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

Proverbs 15:16
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

Luke 1:50
AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.

Psalm 25:12
Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

Ecclesiastes 7:18
It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them.

Isaiah 33:6
And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

Psalm 103:11
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

Psalm 115:11
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.
   
Proverbs 14:26-27
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Malachi 3:16-17
Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. "They will be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him."

Malachi 4:2
"But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall."

Revelation 11:18
"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

Psalm 34:9
O fear the LORD, you His saints; for those who fear him lack nothing.

Psalm 111:5
He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.


Reflect on your own fears, both healthy and unhealthy, and assess how they bring you to God or take you away from Him.
Do You Fear God? [1]
We've seen how the sailor's fear of God led to their salvation, and how Jonah, in contrast, failed to fear the God that he professed in his own doctrine. How can we apply this insight today? Perhaps we can start asking ourselves these questions:

First, do we fear God? Many fears keep us from the one fear that will save us. Such lesser fears may be those of failure, rejection, condemnation, pain, and suffering, or the loss of freedom and possessions. The fear of God, however, removes all other fears. To fear God is to fear nothing else any longer. It is essential in walking with Him. It is the beginning of true wisdom for life (Proverbs 9:10), and it leads us to life (Proverbs 19:23). It keep us from sinning (Exodus 20:20). It is the key to the Lord's rich store of salvation, spiritual knowledge, and wisdom (Isaiah 33:6). It brings intimacy with God, as we see His purposes and plans (Psalm 25:14). It enables us to consecrate ourselves totally to Him and withhold nothing from Him (Genesis 22:12), so that we can truly serve Him (Deuteronomy 6:13).



Do You Fear God?
PHOTO: Do You Fear God?
Many fears keep us from the one fear that will save us. Such lesser fears may be those of failure, rejection, condemnation, pain, and suffering, or the loss of freedom and possessions. The fear of God, however, removes all other fears.  It enables us to consecrate ourselves totally to Him and withhold nothing from Him (
Genesis 22:12), so that we can truly serve Him (Deuteronomy 6:13).
Picture posted by Alamy

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https://c7.alamy.com/compde/c7xx06/mit-isaac-abraham-c7xx06.jpg
https://www.alamy.de/stockfoto-mit-isaac-abraham-39314470.html



There is little fear of God today, even though we may profess to fear the Lord and claim to know the importance of doing so. One of the significant characteristics of the New Testament church was that "everyone was filled with awe" (Acts 2:43). The Greek word for "awe" is phobos - from which we get the English "phobia" - which means "fear". Perhaps many Christians have become so accustomed to the words and things of God that there is no more fear of Him in them. We can learn a lesson or two from the pagan sailors who responded to Jonah's words with great, trembling fear.



There is little fear of God today, even though we may profess to fear the Lord and claim to know the importance of doing so.
PHOTO: There is little fear of God today, even though we may profess to fear the Lord and claim to know the importance of doing so. Perhaps many Christians have become so accustomed to the words and things of God that there is no more fear of Him in them. We can learn from the pagan sailors who responded to Jonah's words with great, trembling fear.
Picture posted by Florida Center for Instructional Technology, ClipArt ETC

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https://etc.usf.edu/clipart/65700/65759/65759_isaac_offred_lg.gif
https://etc.usf.edu/clipart/65700/65759/65759_isaac_offred.htm



Second, does how we live match what we profess? If we say that God is holy, do we honour Him by ensuring that we pursue holiness even in the smallest details of life? If we confess that God is love and say that He has forgiven us, do we forgive and love others? When we praise God in song and express our thanksgiving and commitment to Him, do we really mean it? Do we take care to turn our promise into daily commitments to the Lord? Or are our songs and promises just empty words? We also need to remember that when we disobey God, we can drag others onto our troubles. Disobedience has social implications for the people around us.

 

If we confess that God is love and say that He has forgiven us, do we forgive and love others?
PHOTO:  If we confess that God is love and say that He has forgiven us, do we forgive and love others? We also need to remember that when we disobey God, we can drag others onto our troubles. Disobedience has social implications for the people around us.
Picture posted by shysmile, tumblr.com

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http://hiyasmile.tumblr.com/post/158213175461



Third, do we care for those who do not know God? Do we pray for them and tell them about God? Or do we sleep spiritually even as they call out in quiet desperation to the gods they know? Do we see them the way God does?



Do we care for those who do not know God?
PHOTO: Do we care for those who do not know God? Do we sleep spiritually even as they call out in quiet desperation to the gods they know?
Painting by Christophe Vacher, Painter, Art Director, Concept artist - The Oasis
Picture posted by liveinternet.ru on Saturday, 28 June 2008 at 22:49

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http://2photo.ru/uploads/posts/4268/20080626/imjakhudozhnika/26_06_2008_0164052001214490906_christophe_vacher.jpg
https://www.liveinternet.ru/users/vetka333/post79096735/



Fourth, do we remember that God extends a gracious and merciful hand even to the worst of sinners? There is a door that all can open to receive God's divine grace. We too may need to open it if we have strayed away from Him. The God who made our hearts wants to dwell there; we cannot relate to God without first offering Him our hearts.

 

God extends a gracious and merciful hand even to the worst of sinners.
PHOTO: God extends a gracious and merciful hand even to the worst of sinners. There is a door that all can open to receive God's divine grace. The God who made our hearts wants to dwell there; we cannot relate to God without first offering Him our hearts.
Picture posted by Andrew Roebert, Alive to God on 29 June 2018

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https://andrewroebert.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/religion_0700.jpg
https://andrewroebert.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/the-blessing/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2018/03/reflection-solution-to-worn-out-lives_26.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/03/reflection-solution-to-worn-out-lives_26.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/09/reflection-letting-christ-live-in-us_27.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-finding-rest-for-soul-links.html



Fifth, are we ready to be used by God? We never know how a word we speak, a book we pass to a friend, or a simple kindness we perform, can be used by God to change someone's life. God is not a passive observer in our lives, but an active and gracious participant. He is constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish His sovereign will. He can use any situation to do His marvellous work. This does not mean we can run away from God, like Jonah, and expect Him to make good on the situation. Rather, it should motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert (agreement or harmony) with God's will for us.



Are we ready to be used by God?

PHOTO: Are we ready to be used by God? We never know how a word we speak, a book we pass to a friend, or a simple kindness we perform, can be used by God to change someone's life. He can use any situation to do His marvellous work. This does not mean we can run away from God, like Jonah. Rather, it should motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert (agreement or harmony) with God's will for us.
Painting by Christophe Vacher, Painter, Art Director, Concept artist
Picture posted by Anonymous on Monday, 10 December 2018 at 01:45:54

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https://2ch.hk/b/arch/2018-12-10/src/187853402/15443775544630.jpg
https://2ch.hk/b/arch/2018-12-10/res/187853402.html



As the sailors discovered, we must acknowledge to God that "you, Lord, have done as you pleased" (Jonah 1:14). Within a short time, the crucible of the fearful storm had produced a belief, and language, in the sailors that was sound both theologically and liturgically (cf. Psalm 115:3; 135:6). The faithful response of the pagans as depicted in the book of Jonah is not only surprising, but also challenging, when compared with the unfaithful response of Israel and Jonah. But God's pleasure is not just about His sovereignty and will; it is also about our salvation. He is pleased when we turn to Him in faith; it pleases the Father's heart when the prodigals return to Him.



As the sailors discovered, we must acknowledge to God that 'you, Lord, have done as you pleased' (Jonah 1:14).

PHOTO: As the sailors discovered, we must acknowledge to God that "you, Lord, have done as you pleased" (Jonah 1:14).  God's pleasure is not just about His sovereignty and will; it is also about our salvation. He is pleased when we turn to Him in faith; it pleases the Father's heart when the prodigals return to Him.
Painting by Christophe Vacher, Painter, Art Director, Concept artist - Shadows and Dreams
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--P5g-Vh_-Ls/XDMnDcW0XJI/AAAAAAAAsaI/jXphW8S0YfkPme_umBUsjw3RD3q4JYz-QCLcBGAs/s1600/Stormbreakers.jpg
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http://vacher.com/traditional-paintings



Fear [3]
Fear - A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.

Healthy Fear [3]
Not all fear is harmful, however; there is to be a place in the heart of the Christian for the right kind of fear... - extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.


Healthy Fear
PHOTO: Healthy Fear
Not all fear is harmful, however; there is to be a place in the heart of the Christian for the right kind of fear... - extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.
Picture posted by homesecurity.press

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https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/81/Your_Guardian_Angel.jpg
https://homesecurity.press/quotes/the-angel-of-the-lord-encamps-around.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/11/reflection-gods-call-hearing-word-of.html



When we would like to spent hours in the Park Connector Networks (PCN) for our daily pre-dawn walk and exercises, we would fear the raining weather with flashing lightning and thunders. Beside the weather, we also have fear of those in the forest: Monkeys, stray dogs, monitor lizards, snakes, and falling trees. When we are unable to determine the dangers but already out along the forested road, then praying to the Lord for help has become the usual practice. This healthy fear also enable us to take the available safer path, away from the dangers. When it is already too late, then we will be running intensely towards Him for safety. This is the moment when our fears fully require His supreme power for protection, guidance, and provision of the shelter from all the dangers of nature.


When we would like to spent hours in the Park Connector Networks (PCN) for our daily pre-dawn walk and exercises, we would fear the raining weather with flashing lightning and thunders.
PHOTO: When we would like to spent hours in the Park Connector Networks (PCN) for our daily pre-dawn walk and exercises, we would fear the raining weather with flashing lightning and thunders. Beside the weather, we also have fear of those in the forest: Monkeys, stray dogs, monitor lizards, snakes, and falling trees. This healthy fear also enable us to take the available safer path, away from the dangers. When it is already too late, then we will be running intensely towards Him for safety.
Picture saved by Ekaterina Chekulaeva (Buscar posts) from Live photographs on 31 July 2016 at 7:53 PM

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https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-gods-call-receiving-and.html



Unhealthy Fear [3]
Fear causes problems to seem greater than they really are
With exaggerated fears of the problems we face, we think the problems are overwhelming. For example, migrating to a faraway oversea country to live and work. We will expect to face language, cultural, and livelihood problems. We may have to leave behind our love ones, friends, and familiar places. We may develop, and are overwhelm by Panic, Phobia, and Psychotic fears, that causes severe mental imbalance leading to disaster. [4]


Unhealthy Fear: Fear causes problems to seem greater than they really are
PHOTO: Unhealthy Fear - Fear causes problems to seem greater than they really are
With exaggerated fears of the problems we face, we think the problems are overwhelming. We may develop, and are overwhelm by Panic, Phobia, and Psychotic fears, that causes severe mental imbalance leading to disaster.
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https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/11/reflection-jonah-runs-god-pursues.html



Fear that prevents us from enjoying the blessings we have and interacting with others:
One who fears cannot be at peace and know true joy. For example, attending Sunday Mass in a church may be a daunting task because we are unable to sing and behave like the others could. We feel uncomfortable, especially having to sit with the "elites". The feeling is the same as an employee sitting beside the CEO of the company. They talk differently, with incomprehensible concepts, and highly theological methodology. It is very stressful, and there is no real peace, and no true joy. So we end up not attending Church's Mass and other events. Those places appear unsuitable for common Christians.



Unhealthy Fear - Fear that prevents us from enjoying the blessings we have and interacting with others

PHOTO: Unhealthy Fear - Fear that prevents us from enjoying the blessings we have and interacting with others:
One who fears cannot be at peace and know true joy. For example, attending Sunday Mass in a church may be a daunting task because we are unable to sing and behave like the others could. We feel uncomfortable, especially having to sit with the "elites". The feeling is the same as an employee sitting beside the CEO of the company.
Painting by Christophe Vacher, Painter, Art Director, Concept artist - The Cave of The Oracle
Picture posted by vetka333 on 28 June 2008 at 10:49 PM

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-w62rvxL6Vzw/XDMnBZGw-AI/AAAAAAAAsZk/TO9GLjXkxwY5E9tK5CAh1O8XvFzKsOf9QCLcBGAs/s1600/26_06_2008_0130073001214490906_christophe_vacher.jpg
http://2photo.ru/uploads/posts/4268/20080626/imjakhudozhnika/26_06_2008_0130073001214490906_christophe_vacher.jpg
https://www.liveinternet.ru/users/vetka333/post79096735/



Fear that hinders our ability to be of service to God
Fear of people, fear of failure, often hinder Christians in their service; e.g., personal evangelism, spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ to a powerful atheists who are intimidating. It is like talking to lawyers or professional speakers, when in comparison, we can't even speak properly. Intimidating people can cause others to feel helpless and lose their enthusiasm to perform. Because we will ended up being "silenced".



Unhealthy Fear - Fear that hinders our ability to be of service to God

PHOTO: Unhealthy Fear - Fear that hinders our ability to be of service to God
Fear of people, fear of failure, often hinder Christians in their service; e.g., personal evangelism, spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ to a powerful atheists who are intimidating. Intimidating people can cause others to feel helpless and lose their enthusiasm to perform. Because we will ended up being "silenced".
Picture posted by  eushtiu.com on 20 June 2018
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https://eushtiu.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/s-2.png
https://eushtiu.com/o-sa-te-recunosti-13-semne-ca-personalitatea-ta-puternica-ii-sperie-pe-cei-din-jur/



Fear that motivates us to disobey God
Certain fears often prompt us to do things which are displeasing to God.  For example, Fear of failure, and rejection by friends, especially the opposite sex. Such fears have often led young people to express inappropriately, get in with the wrong crowd (drinking excessively), and give in to improper sexual advances. In desperation, these fears may drive one to the Church seeking not only Salvation for the soul, but also love for opposite sex. Ultimately facing greater disappointment, and unfruitful accomplishment.


Unhealthy Fear - Fear that motivates us to disobey God
PHOTO: Unhealthy Fear - Fear that motivates us to disobey God
Certain fears often prompt us to do things which are displeasing to God. Fear of failure, and rejection by friends, especially the opposite sex. Such fears have often led young people to express inappropriately, get in with the wrong crowd (drinking excessively), and give in to improper sexual advances.
Picture posted by 至娱系 Zhì yú xì on 06 April 2016 - (闹婚 Nào hūn, literally ‘disturbing a marriage’)

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https://m.chuansongme.com/n/2811613
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/12/professional-bridesmaids-for-hire-in.html



Healthy Fear vs Unhealthy Fear [5]
Healthy Fear is not hard to recognize - there is an external circumstance that warrants fear and helps us to deal with circumstance without being overwhelmed. [4]



Healthy Fear is not hard to recognize - there is an external circumstance that warrants fear and helps us to deal with circumstance without being overwhelmed.

PHOTO: Healthy Fear is not hard to recognize - there is an external circumstance that warrants fear and helps us to deal with circumstance without being overwhelmed.
Picture posted  by Shyafika Arina on 06 March 2017

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http://cleo.com.my/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Fast-Furious-8_Easy-Resize.com_.jpg
http://cleo.com.my/upcoming-fast-furious-8-lit-soundtrack-youll-want-add-playlist/



Healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose. Healthy fear is stimulated by real threatening danger and then disappears when that danger is no longer present. Being faced with what could be a matter of life or death, healthy fear encourages or requires us to take action. Taking action out of healthy fear rarely results in any feelings of shame. Good reason stands to have been fearful, and the fear-based action had clear motives: to get out of the way of danger.



Healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose. Healthy fear is stimulated by real threatening danger and then disappears when that danger is no longer present.

PHOTO: Healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose. Healthy fear is stimulated by real threatening danger and then disappears when that danger is no longer present.
Picture posted by Redakce Garáž.cz on 12 April 2017

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https://d62-a.sdn.szn.cz/d_62/c_img_G_C/PRcCg4.jpeg
https://www.garaz.cz/clanek/rychle-a-zbesile-8-show-kde-neni-vybuchu-nikdy-dost-2153



Being faced with what could be a matter of life or death, healthy fear encourages or requires us to take action.

PHOTO: Being faced with what could be a matter of life or death, healthy fear encourages or requires us to take action. Good reason stands to have been fearful, and the fear-based action had clear motives: to get out of the way of danger.
Picture posted  by Shyafika Arina on 06 March 2017

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yZ1hcm7WU4k/XDMnFBcCeWI/AAAAAAAAsac/Jw_EDN8mLEYRohINsZ_72Cbav43MKIE5gCLcBGAs/s1600/image.dynimg.full.q75.jpg
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/entertainment/2016/12/the-fate-of-the-furious-trailer-promises-another-high-octane-ride/_jcr_content/par/image.dynimg.full.q75.jpg/
http://cleo.com.my/upcoming-fast-furious-8-lit-soundtrack-youll-want-add-playlist/



All other types represent a mental incapacity from mild to severe, and mental imbalance always creates risk and sometimes disaster. [4]
Unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal. Unhealthy fear is stimulated by perceived or imagined danger - which usually isn’t dangerous at all. While healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose, unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal. Since there is no clear directive from unhealthy fear, rather than inspiring us to take action it causes paralysis. Neither defending ourselves nor confronting the fear can lead to shameful feelings. Lastly, since there is no real definition of the fear, there aren’t any clear motives for taking action on it. Unhealthy fear is illogical, oftentimes irrational, and mostly without use.



Unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal.

PHOTO: Unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal. Unhealthy fear is stimulated by perceived or imagined danger - which usually isn’t dangerous at all. While healthy fear recedes after it serves its purpose, unhealthy fear tends to carry on because there is no real end goal. Unhealthy fear is illogical, oftentimes irrational, and mostly without use.
Painting by Christophe Vacher - Claire Vallee
Picture posted by Art Galaxie

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https://www.artgalaxie.com/uploads/artist-gallery/original/artist_art_5b09b7468c5a2.jpg
https://www.artgalaxie.com/artists/details/59/christophe-vacher



Through recovery, we learn to face our fears - both healthy and unhealthy. We feel equipped to do so because of our trust and faith in God, or the Higher Power of our understanding. It is impossible to be in faith and fear at the same time. If we replace our unhealthy fears with unending faith, we will be amazed by how quickly our fears will fade.



Through recovery, we learn to face our fears - both healthy and unhealthy.

PHOTO: Through recovery, we learn to face our fears - both healthy and unhealthy. We feel equipped to do so because of our trust and faith in God. Things will be going upwards.
Digital art by Andrea Surajbally. Animation by DarkAngelØne
Picture posted by Hector muñoz on 30 November 2017

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https://plus.google.com/106999898935953724486/posts/9Wi9EYdEKv9



If we replace our unhealthy fears with unending faith, we will be amazed by how quickly our fears will fade.

PHOTO: If we replace our unhealthy fears with unending faith, we will be amazed by how quickly our fears will fade.
Picture saved by Nazli to Sea

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https://twitter.com/dct_ihjc



Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God has our best interest at heart. When we doubt that, we are instantaneously in fear. Most of our unhealthy fear comes from an ultimate source of mistrust in God. It’s the impending what if. What if God forsakes me? What if God has forgotten about me? What if God just doesn’t love me? What if I am broken, different, deficient, or not worth the miracle of God’s love and mercy? Shaken to the core of our faithful foundation there is nowhere to go but fear.



Most of our unhealthy fear comes from an ultimate source of mistrust in God. It’s the impending what if.

PHOTO: Most of our unhealthy fear comes from an ultimate source of mistrust in God. It’s the impending what if. Shaken to the core of our faithful foundation there is nowhere to go but fear. Things will be going downwards.
Digital art by Andrea Surajbally. Animation by DarkAngelØne - reverse mode
Picture posted by Steam Community, Wallpaper Engine

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What if God forsakes me?

PHOTO: What if God forsakes me? What if God has forgotten about me? What if God just doesn’t love me? What if I am broken, different, deficient, or not worth the miracle of God’s love and mercy?
Underwater photography by Elena Kalis, .gif animation by google.com/+DarkAngel0ne
Picture posted by George RedHawk_Dark Angel0ne on 21 May 2015 at 8:27 PM

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Psalm 27:1 illuminates this contradiction, "The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?" Then, Romans 8:31 highlights the indisputable truth: If God is for us who could possibly be against us?


The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
PHOTO: "The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).
Picture posted by Lighthouse.com
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http://www.alighthouse.com/icanonlyimagine.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/12/reflection-jonah-runs-god-pursues.html



Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers;
Fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals;
Fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable and, most of all; Fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in it’s God.”
[3]



Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers;

PHOTO: Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers;
Fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals;
Photography by Joe Symchyshyn photography. gif animation by google.com/+DarkAngel0ne - reverse animation
Picture posted by George RedHawk_Dark Angel0ne - Sarah Noemi

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Fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable and, most of all; Fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in it’s God.”

PHOTO: Fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable and, most of all; Fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in it’s God.”
Photography by Joe Symchyshyn photography. gif animation by google.com/+DarkAngel0ne - reverse animation
Picture posted by George RedHawk_Dark Angel0ne - Sarah Noemi

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X0bvf2BGp5s/XDMnDF930CI/AAAAAAAAsaE/loQNYSzRy4wc04Okm2UBX_HbbLX1XlgxACLcBGAs/s1600/Sarah%2BNoemi%2Bby%2BJoe%2BSymchyshyn-photography_reverse.gif
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Dear Lord, Thank you for letting us learned that you were after more than just one errant prophet, Jonah. You would use the events to turn the pagan sailors to yourself. You would open their hearts and eyes, so that they would turn to you for mercy and salvation. You used the words of a disobedient prophet to lead the pagan sailors to a true knowledge of you. There is enough evidence in the text to suggest that the sailors were actually converted. The sailors were then worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them.<br>Lord, help us to fear you because, the fear of God, removes all other fears. To fear God is to fear nothing else any longer. It is essential in walking with Him. It is the beginning of true wisdom for life, and it leads us to life. It keep us from sinning. It is the key to the Lord's rich store of salvation, spiritual knowledge, and wisdom. It brings intimacy with God, as we see His purposes and plans. It enables us to consecrate ourselves totally to Him and withhold nothing from Him, so that we can truly serve Him.<br>Please help us to learn from the pagan sailors who responded to Jonah's words with great, trembling fear.<br>Help us to live in the way that matches with what we profess, and take care to turn our promise into daily commitments to the Lord. Help us not to disobey God, because we can drag others onto our troubles. <br>Disobedience has social implications for the people around us.<br>Help us to pray for those who do not know God, and tell them about God. And not to sleep spiritually even as they call out in quiet desperation to the gods they know.<br>Thank you for extending your gracious and merciful hand even to the worst of sinners, like us. Help us to relate to you by first offering our hearts to you.<br>We want to be ready to be used by you. You are constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish your sovereign will. You can use any situation to do your marvellous work. Please motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert with your will for us.<br>Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!

PHOTO: "Dear Lord, Thank you for letting us learned that you were after more than just one errant prophet, Jonah. You would use the events to turn the pagan sailors to yourself. You would open their hearts and eyes, so that they would turn to you for mercy and salvation. You used the words of a disobedient prophet to lead the pagan sailors to a true knowledge of you. There is enough evidence in the text to suggest that the sailors were actually converted. The sailors were then worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them.

Lord, help us to fear you because, the fear of God, removes all other fears. To fear God is to fear nothing else any longer. It is essential in walking with Him. It is the beginning of true wisdom for life, and it leads us to life. It keep us from sinning. It is the key to the Lord's rich store of salvation, spiritual knowledge, and wisdom. It brings intimacy with God, as we see His purposes and plans. It enables us to consecrate ourselves totally to Him and withhold nothing from Him, so that we can truly serve Him.

Please help us to learn from the pagan sailors who responded to Jonah's words with great, trembling fear.

Help us to live in the way that matches with what we profess, and take care to turn our promise into daily commitments to the Lord. Help us not to disobey God, because we can drag others onto our troubles. Disobedience has social implications for the people around us.

Help us to pray for those who do not know God, and tell them about God. And not to sleep spiritually even as they call out in quiet desperation to the gods they know.

Thank you for extending your gracious and merciful hand even to the worst of sinners, like us. Help us to relate to you by first offering our hearts to you.

We want to be ready to be used by you. You are constantly working through our acts of obedience - and sometimes disobedience - to accomplish your sovereign will. You can use any situation to do your marvellous work. Please motivate us to stay on the road of loving obedience, so that we can work in concert with your will for us.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
"
Picture posted by Soul Creation Artist
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https://cdn-ak.f.st-hatena.com/images/fotolife/L/LSM/20180507/20180507134904.gif
http://lsm.hateblo.jp/entry/2018/05/07/140000


Reflection - God Saves - Experience of fear
Question from source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 3, Question 2, Page 44.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012






Also from the same author, Robert M. Solomon

"Faithful to the end", A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon<br>
Reflection - Faithful to the end (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



"Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon

Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-finding-rest-for-soul-links.html




Reference
[1] From "God in Pursuit" Lessons from the Book of Jonah, Copyright © 2017 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-801-6, Part I: Jonah 1:1-17, Chapter 3 "God Saves", Page 33-36, 41-43.

[2] Knowing-Jesus.com, Fear Of God, Results Of Most Relevant Verses, https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fear-Of-God,-Results-Of

[3] Clover Sites (Clover symbolise faith, hope and love), FEAR, http://storage.cloversites.com/recoveryatcokesbury/documents/Dealing%20With%20Fear.pdf

[4] Gregory Miner Gustafson, Physician Director Cardiac Catheterization Lab at NYPQ (1994-present), Quora, How can you tell what is healthy fear and what is unhealthy fear?, posted on  09 August 2018, https://www.quora.com/How-can-you-tell-what-is-healthy-fear-and-what-is-unhealthy-fear

[5] Felicia Durling, Healthy Fear vs. Unhealthy Fear, posted on 01 March 2018, http://thecenter4lifechange.com/healthy-fear-vs-unhealthy-fear/

[12] O. Palmer Robertson, Jonah: A Study in Compassion (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1990), 18.

[13] Richard D. Phillips, Jonah and Micah, Reformed Expository Commentary Series, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2010), 57-59.

[14] R. T. Kendall, Jonah: An Exposition (Atlanta: Authentic, 2006), 57.


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