Main Text: John 14:23-29 (Acts 16:9-15; Revelation 21:10, 22:1-5)
When someone tells you not to fear, how does that make you feel? Fear is a natural human reaction. The way we often address fear is to control the environment around us. We convince ourselves that we are safe by surrounding us with people that we are comfortable with and places in which we are familiar. We are called, however, to be witnesses to the whole world. How then are we to deal with our fear? The answer to this is found in Jesus words to the disciples who are about to be pushed completely out of their comfort zone. This passage comes as part of the farewell discourses as Jesus is preparing them for his departure. Jesus does not tell them to not be afraid. Instead, Jesus tells them to not let their hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid. The key is the word “let”. Fear will come naturally. You cannot choose not to fear. Life will put you in circumstances where fear is the only reasonable response. Firefighters, however, run into a burning building when everyone else is running out because they have trained their hearts not to fear. It is a discipline that is practiced and learned. We can let fear limit our lives and our witness, or we can train our hearts through the disciplines of faith to not give into fear. We are called to be witnesses! Do not let your heart be afraid!