"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17
I really hadn't planned to go this direction this morning but as I was reading about the angelic visits to Zachariah and to young Mary, and for that matter, the shepherds, this verse popped in my mind and tied some things together. Perhaps this thought will help you as well!
What I was looking at was the initial response from these who were visited by angels and then their ultimate response. Each of them moved from fear to faith. They each changed from being terrified to being edified. How did that happen?
We can understand the fear part. Each of them were minding their own business in the course of their daily responsibilities and suddenly an angel appears. That has to startle you a bit. We know that they were frightened because in each case the angel reassures them with the words, "fear not!"
Imagine you are at work today or on the treadmill or eating your frosted flakes and a brilliant, beautiful heavenly being pops up in front of you. How would you be?
But that is the easy part to understand. What we need to know is what happened to move them from fear to faith.
In each case it is the same. They listened to the message that the angel brought. Each one of them heard the Word of the Lord. Their faith came by hearing!
Is there a message there for us? I think so!
Fear comes from looking, faith comes from listening! Looking at an angel can certainly be frightening. It's not like they saw them everyday. For all we know this was the only angelic appearance of their lifetimes. But as they listened to the message of hope, and peace, and news of great joy, they moved from fear to faith.
If you or I look at the world in which we live or a particular circumstance that might face us, fear can rise up within us. If we walk by sight we can be overcome by fear. But as Paul reminds us, "we walk by faith not by sight". And where does faith come from? LISTENING to the Word of God!
Zachariah, Mary, the shepherds all give us proof from the Christmas story! That is another aspect of the "good news of great joy" announced by the angels! We don't have to live in fear!
Are you struggling with fear? Does what you see around you have you frightened?
Tune into God's voice! Get into God's Word. Hear what He has to say to you today! Let His voice move you from fear to faith!