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No. 20
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

Our puss, Ginger Tom, is still upset!
You remember that we had a giant snake on our verandah?
Well, Ginger Tom can't seem to be his old self any more.
He is afraid that the snake is still in our house or yard - somewhere.
He sneaks around,
peering out of windows, looking around doors, looking up in the ceiling.
It is sad.
It is very hard to get him to go on the verandah.
We carry him there in our arms, and try to comfort him.
But he is so nervous all the time.

I want to explain to Ginger Tom that the snake is gone now.
I am sure it isn't in our yard.
I want to tell my pussy that we have made arrangements!
We asked a man to come,
and measure up the spaces in the ceiling where the snake got in.
He is coming back to put boards there, so that snakes can never wriggle in again.
But I can't explain to the poor darling, he would not understand.
He is just a cat.

Fear is an awful feeling.
It can make us do things we don't want to do, because we are afraid.

Peter, the follower of Jesus in the Bible,
was once so afraid that he said three times that he didn't even know Jesus.
It happened when soldiers came and took Jesus away.
Peter was scared, and so he tried to pretend that he was not a follower of Jesus at all.
Later, he was so ashamed.
But Jesus forgave Peter and he became a very brave man.
A man who feared nothing.
How come?
The Lord made Peter a mighty man of God.
He gave him courage, and power and strength inside.
He filled Peter with His Spirit.

You may be afraid of something, or someone.
Perhaps you fear lots of things.
There are many things that we don't understand, because we are only humans.
Our Heavenly Father can't explain everything to us,
but He has explained a lot about scary things in the Bible.
He is a God of great comfort.
He promises never to leave us, or let us down.
Courage is a wonderful feeling.
Did you see that Aussie film, " Babe:Pig in the City"?
It had a song which said, "a little bit of courage goes a long, long way."
God can give courage when you are afraid.
Ask Him to next time you are scared.
And rest in the God of all comfort.
He doesn't want us to be cowardly custards.
He wants us to be strong in Him.

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee (make you strong);
yes, I will help thee;
yes, I will uphold thee
with the right hand of my righteousness
(God's holiness and goodness)."
(Isaiah 41:10).


This world can seem so out of whack, and filled with fearful happenings.
The television news can make even the bravest person turn into a jelly.
There is news of wars, cyclones, murderers and money crashes!
You may live in a rough city, where gangs of louts are in the streets.
All this can make anyone feel uneasy, not safe. Life in the nineties is rushing along as though it is out of control.

But, our God is really in control! God is on His throne,
and He is bringing His purposes to pass.

In the mean time, He is calling you to trust Him.
One of the biggest needs all of us have is the need for PEACE.
Jesus says,
"Peace I leave with you...Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
He also said,
"These things have I spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation (troubles),
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).
A PRAYER: Father God, I need You today. I want to be filled with Your peace, so that I will have courage to face what ever comes along. I know You care for me, and I need to be able to trust You. I will walk with You through the day and night, for You are my strength. I am weak but You are mighty. In You I will find comfort for today. Amen.

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