by Dr. Paul Chappell
“And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.”
Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University were doing a research on the fear phenomenon thirty years ago, and they reported that the greatest fears of grade school children were animals, being in a dark room, high places, strangers, and loud noises. After the same poll was done on children in 2004, it was concluded that children are afraid of divorce, nuclear war, cancer, pollution, and being mugged on the way home from school.
Certainly the fear of children and even adults has changed and compounded with the passing of time. Fear is something that penetrates the hearts of many Americans today, but it also had an effect on the lives of Christ’s followers right after His resurrection.
When we think of Resurrection morning it brings hope and joy to our hearts. While Christ died for our sins, He didn’t stay dead. He conquered the grave! But while we look at this time with joy, the early disciples did not have joy. Although Christ had foretold of His death and resurrection, His disciples were confused and fearful after His crucifixion.
The first emotions at the empty tomb were not emotions of excitement and rejoicing but were emotions of fear and uncertainty. Christ had taught His disciples that He would be crucified but that He would rise again. The Lord was speaking of Himself as the temple when He said in John 2:19, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Even though Jesus told the disciples He would die and rise again, they faced fear when they saw the empty tomb.
Fear is an overwhelming emotion people live with every day. Many live with fear and perplexity over the unknown. There are always health tests, financial pressures, work deadlines, and many things that cause fear in our hearts.
God has clearly stated in His Word that fear is not from Him! God seeks to give peace to His children, but the devil seeks to confuse and bring fear. The Lord tells us in Isaiah 44:8, “Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” God is God alone! When we are His children, everything that happens in our lives is from Him.
Do you fear the unknown? Has something come into your life of which you fear the outcome? Just as Jesus foretold His death to prepare His disciples, so He has foretold His working in our lives to prepare us for difficult times. Do not view a time of uncertainty with fear, but look at it as God’s time of growing you. Spend some extra time in prayer today. Seek God’s comfort and guidance in the area you fear. Remember as you go about your day today that God is always in control.