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Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
November 4, 2010

Seventeen minutes from tragedy

Investigators have discovered that one of the mail bombs sent from Yemen last week was defused just 17 minutes before it would have exploded. MSNBC reports this morning that the same kind of explosive was used in the failed bombing last December of a Detroit-bound jet. This time, terrorists came much closer to success and tragedy.

Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle tells us that an Airbus 380 superjumbo airplane made an emergency landing in Singapore this morning after an engine blew out, shooting flames and raining large chunks of metal. There were 459 people aboard. I’m getting on an airplane in three hours—I’m glad we’re talking this week about fear and faith.

Our Father promises that when we give our worries and burdens to him, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). We’ve named our fears, sought our Lord’s help, claimed biblical principles which offer strength, and discovered the importance of living in “today,” the only moment there is.

This morning, are you dealing with guilt over the past? Name your specific regret or failure. Ask God to forgive you and liberate your spirit. Believe his promise to forgive all you confess to him (1 John 1:9). Then, the next time that guilt strikes you, claim the fact that you were forgiven and set free today. You may need to claim grace 100 times today and 90 times tomorrow, but eventually grace will defeat guilt.

Are you dealing with fear about the future? Name that fear specifically. Give it to your Father, asking him if there is anything you should do today about it. When his Spirit leads you to act, do so. Until he does, continue to trust that fear to God, every time it strikes you. And faith will defeat fear.

Our Father loves us. He wants us to experience the “life to the full” his Son came to give us (John 10:10). If you are living in fear over the past, future, or present, you have not received the peace God intends for your soul. Refuse to be anxious about anything, but pray about everything (Philippians 4:6). And God’s peace will be yours (v. 7)—guaranteed.

Dr. Oscar Thompson was a beloved professor of evangelism at Southwestern Seminary. He died of cancer while I was a student there. Through the pain and suffering of his last months, he radiated a remarkable spirit of peace and joy. Did he fear what was coming? Whenever he was asked, Dr. Thompson gave the same answer: “I’ll have dying grace for dying day.” And he did. He had the grace of Jesus for each day as it came, until the day he stepped from death to life and time to eternity.

Where do you need God’s grace for today?
Copyright © 2010, Center for Informed Faith. All rights reserved.

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