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Afraid And Joyful

Matthew 28:8-10
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.' (NIVUK)

Every new or unique experience is unsettling. There is nothing by which to calibrate the event of its implications. However for the women who had come to the tomb early on resurrection morning, joy grew up alongside their anxiety because they knew that the Lord Jesus Christ was not dead any longer.
They had seen the exposed grave and had believed the words the angel spoke to them, promising that Jesus would soon meet His disciples again. So they had the joy of hope. That spurred them to go back to give the men the wonderful news; and so they ran.
What happened next exceeded anything they might have thought. As they ran, a figure came towards them and called out His greeting. It was the Lord! They came to Him, fell at His feet and worshipped Him. Their joy abounded and the words of Jesus dealt with their fear. He repeated what the angel said and affirmed what they had already accepted by faith.
Fear and joy often live together, although the shackles of fear always seek to reduce joy to meaninglessness. However, the Word of God brings hope, and the courage to obey despite uncertainty. As we encounter Jesus, fear is dispelled, knowing that His relationship with us is personal, and therefore we are safe. He is in command and nothing can stand against Him; and by extension nothing can defeat His purposes for us either (Romans 8:31). So do not give in to fear, get on with the work the Lord has given you to do, and rejoice!

Lord God. Thank You for the personal relationship I have with You through Jesus Christ. Forgive me for those times when I have allowed fear to displace joy, because I have forgotten that You are always in charge of everything. Please help me to treasure Your Word, and trust what You say; and to delight in Your powerful presence. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams