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I Want Jesus To Hold My Hand Jesus throughout scripture as well as the Apostles constantly compel us to suffer for Christ's

sake, to die for him even. History records that Peter was crucified, Paul, beheaded, Stephen stoned. Could you do this? Could you, would you give your life for Christ's sake? Furthermore, why does God ask this of us? There is a compelling principle in scripture where we see God helping his children overcome fear through carefully orchestrated ordeals designed to help them overcome their fear. Take a look at Matthew 8:25-26 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. -Matthew 8:25-26 Now compare that with Matthew 14:27-32 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and

beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. -Matthew 14:26-32 In both accounts you see something very similar going on. One, the disciples are in a legitimately life threatening situation! Two, they seek Jesus' assistance in saving them. Third, once they are saved, the winds stop blowing! If I didn't know any better it would appear the entire ordeal was orchestrated by God for a specific purpose. Think about it for a second, Peter walked on water? Walking on water is beyond man's reasonable comprehension of what is possible, but he did it....ALMOST! Let's not forget that he never made it all the way to Jesus and the reason he fell short was fear. I am in that season of my Christian walk where God is causing the winds to blow all around me. It was only a few days ago when I found myself stranded on a dark empty street in a part of the city overrun with crime and violence. (See my contribution "The Story of Courage The Cowardly Christian) I can tell you this I didn't finish my walk on water either but God was still there to pull me up. By that I mean I was afraid and not really sure what God wanted me to do but I was convinced I didn't handle it right. I have long wanted to overcome the burden of fear, because fear keeps us from Christ and causes us to constantly miss the

mark. The mark is to overcome our fear of death and embrace the heavenly hope that is found in Christ, Him Crucified and Him Resurrected! Those who are in Christ Jesus do not have anything to fear not even death. Fear is a by-product of sin, death a result of sin. The Bible tells us to "mortify" the deeds of the body, meaning put them to death through the Spirit. It is not certain how the Apostle Peter died but there is evidence to suggest that he was crucified at the command of the Roman emperor Nero. It's not important to know how he died, we know how he lived. We know what Jesus said would happen: Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. -Matthew 24:9 Do you see why Jesus caused the boat to rock violently while he slept? Do you see why he caused the winds to blow as Peter walked across the water? They would never have endured what was to come after his death and resurrection. Let's not forget that even with this preparation Peter still denied Jesus THREE TIMES when they came to take Jesus to be crucified. HE WAS STILL AFRAID!! Still Jesus was with him then because he remembered his words: Mat 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

So this is the point, seek to overcome fear, to put it to death with the old body and embrace the peace and patience that comes from embracing our inheritiance. As with Peter it may take some time before you can truly say you've overcome your fear. Peter denied Christ and wept, that should tell you it's no easy task. I'm not there yet but it is a Christian goal I seek to accomplish. If you are living in fear you are depriving yourself of a great and wonderful gift that Christ has promised us here on earth. Know that God will not leave you alone to accomplish this on your own but will hold your hand as he did Peter. Isaiah 41:10-20 says it this way: Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the

whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. -Isaiah 41:10-20