Is This Really a Church? Fear Factor, Part 2


In our trek through fear, we often neglect to consider the validity of such worries. But if we really think about it, memories that testify that our God is, indeed, a caring God, will arise!

"Consider what great things he has done for you." (1 Sam 12:24 NIV)

While navigating through the streets of my hometown this past summer, I suddenly found myself face to face with the church from my childhood. I knew it well, but when I began talking about it, my sons and my wife looked around, puzzled:

"Where's the church?"

"It's right behind you!"

"That's not a church!" They exclaimed. "Or is it?"

It's true. Its location on this narrow street was nearly completely obscured by all of the ordinary houses and apartment buildings built up against it. It really didn't stand out as a church. Besides, some of its windows were in dire need of repair, and moss had begun to take over the roof. It was really quite discouraging to look at.

Once inside though, I heard nothing but oohhs and aahhs from my family. The inner beauty of the building filled us with solemnity. The stained glass windows stood out beautifully, as did the numerous wooden carvings displaying what Jesus has done for each one of us. From outside this church didn't look much, but inside it proclaimed that Jesus was its Lord! This was indeed a place of worship.

Although I no longer number myself among those who worship in this denomination, I still could sense God's presence in this church. But to tell you the truth, His presence can be felt anywhere if we take the time to recognize it!

How often don't we find ourselves outwardly in the same condition as that simple church? The trials of life may have weathered our enthusiasm. Fear of certain doom may tend to overwhelm us, especially when life doesn't turn out the way we expect it to be. However if we take the time to look deep inside of ourselves, we will realize that we are not alone. All of our friends and family members may have deserted us, but God is still actively involved in our lives! Inside we discover such beauty, and that beauty shines from the Lord who assures us:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27 NIV)

Why not?

Because Jesus has set His home in us! "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt 28:20 NIV) "The Spirit of God lives in you." (Rom 8:9 NIV)

What a loving God! We are renewed inside, by His presence alone! Wow!

And if we take the time to listen to His voice, we will remember that He has always come through for us. If He did this for us in the past, why should we think he wouldn't come through for us in the future?

"Consider what great things he has done for you." (1 Sam 12:24 NIV)

When we contemplate what He has done for us in the past, we feel compelled to fall upon our knees and thank Him for always being there for us. With Him at our side, fear really has no place. He is far superior to any of our wildest worries! "What is impossible with men is possible with God." (Luke 18:27 NIV)

May we learn to let Him shine through us from the inside out! With God so intimately intertwined in our lives, there is beauty in us!

Rob Chaffart

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