Don't be afraid

Twice in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus tells people: "Don't be afraid." 

The first time is when a father has just learned that his daughter has died. Jesus turns to him in that moment and says "Don't be afraid; just believe." Jesus then goes and raises the little girl from the dead, giving her new life and breakfast.

The second time Jesus says "Don't be afraid" in Mark's Gospel is when his disciples think they've seen a ghost on a dangerous, stormy sea. Jesus is walking on the water, about to pass their boat by as they row for their lives. When he sees their panic, he shouts "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

In life's most tumultuous seasons, when facing the death of a loved one or a physical danger, he says "Don't be afraid."

Fear is a major reality you will face if you try to follow Jesus. 

In fact, Mark's gospel originally ended with this line: "Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid." Fear sparked silence. At least ... for a while. Eventually the word got out. We know that because we've heard about Jesus and his resurrection.

Don't let fear drive you to silence.
Don't let fear drive you to unbelief.
Don't let fear drive you to cowardice.

Jesus is with us.
Jesus can help.
Nothing can conquer Jesus.

Don't be afraid.

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