References: Matthew 10:16-39, esp. vv. 29-31; Isaiah 49:13-23
From last week’s post: There is either fear for God, a healthy fear, or there is fear which is destructive.
The God we trust
Let’s look again at what Matthew says (10:29-31 ESV):
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
It is quite clear from this statement, used by the catechism’s authors to write about “comfort,” that a child of God will fear God and put his trust in God.
That’s the question. Do you trust in God? Adam did not when he listened to Satan. But the Holy Spirit empowers us to do just that: trust God.
Knowing who God is
We need to know God in order to trust him.
So let’s get real — do you actually mean not one sparrow falls to the earth without the will of the Father? Yes. And God actually knows you and protects you to the point of the hairs on your head? Yes. It would be a lengthy process to mention all the passages in addition to Ps. 139 which speak of the sovereign God.
Think of it this way: He is the God who called Abraham. He is the God who destroyed Egypt and brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. He is the God who brought Israel into the promised land and made the walls of Jericho fall down.
Regarding the Son, He is the one who said I call my sheep, they hear my voice, and I know them. He sent the Spirit who works in your heart and opened your eyes that you might have faith. Jesus is also the King, and no power of Satan can stand up to His kingdom.
That‘s the God in whom you, as a child of God, can put your trust.
Knowing the ultimate purpose for life
Now part of this trust has to do with being who you are called to be. Remember our context from earlier in Q&A#1: “I am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior.” Your life and every part of it is about being the child of God.
Not all are called specifically (as the twelve in Matt. 10) to go preaching, but all Christians are called to be disciples of Jesus. A disciple serves his Master. So as a disciple of Christ, you are called and enabled to “fear God.” Fearing God means trusting him, respecting the beauties and dangers in His world, but not letting fear overcome you, disable you, and send you cowering to the corner, there to avoid serving your Master.
Remember, we are speaking about what God does according to His will, and the will of the Father is that you live for Him.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.