Layout Image

Do Not Be Alarmed

     Easter     Jesus and his apostles visited the impressive temple built by King Herod in Jerusalem.  As our Lord and his apostles left the temple “his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings,” Matthew 24:1.  Truly, the buildings erected by King Herod were very magnificent and impressive.  They were large and ornate, expensive and awesome.  But Jesus surprised his followers by saying, “Do you see all these things?… Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down,” Matthew 24:2.

     His apostles came in privately and asked about his prediction of the destruction of the Jewish temple.  He answered, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come,” Matthew 24:6.Do Not Be Alarmed

     Then Jesus continued, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me,” Matthew 24:7-9.

      Sounds very severe.  But remember, Jesus told us to “see to it that you are not alarmed,” Matthew 24:6.

 The Benefit of Striving to Please the Lord

     “The righteous…will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord,” Psalm 112:6-7.  There it is!  People who strive to please the Lord are inwardly steadfast, unmovable and confident because they trust in the Lord’s protection and provision.  They stay full of God’s Word and, consequently, have no fear of the bad news that fills this world.  No, they don’t like the bad news, but they do not allow it to control their emotions and thoughts.  Their trust in the Lord keeps them focused on the God who protects his children and eventually takes them to the heavenly new Jerusalem.

     So, my brothers and sisters, let us strive to please the Lord.  First, spend private time with him by reading his Word consistently and spending time alone praising, loving and magnifying him.  His Word and Spirit will deliver you from the fears that are rampant in our world and make you steadfast as you trust the Lord’s control of what’s going on in you and around you.  Confidence in him will fill you with assurance that he can take care of your family and your friends!  We may be surrounded by a fearful world, but we need not allow fear to enter us since we trust in the almighty Creator of heaven and earth!

      We definitely live in the last days that Jesus predicted in Matthew chapter twenty-four.  However, please do not concentrate on the bad news, but concentrate on the Lord who is in you, with you and around you!

     Dear friends, we can overcome fear of bad news.  Bad news will fill our world, but we need not yield to fearing it.  God’s almighty power dwells in us and his Word strengthens us with divine ability to overcome fear of bad news.  Remind yourself of Psalm 112:8, “[Your heart is] secure, [you] will have no fear.”

      Remember Romans 8:37, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  We don’t deny the reality of bad news, we just deny its ownership of our hearts and minds!

Be greatly encouraged,

Pastor James Fields

(Blog from the article entitled “Overcoming Fear of Bad News”)

Where are you focusing?

EasterThe clouds were so dark and heavy with rain. Lightening was flashing across the sky and thunder was rumbling deep in the ground. As I was driving towards this storm, I noticed my feelings becoming downcast and gloomy. My mind started wondering to all the difficult things we were facing at that moment. However, the minute I turned the car away from the storm into the bright sunlight my mood changed. I felt hopeful. I remember thinking “Thank you Lord that you are my sunlight in the midst of the storm.”

As I pondered on this, I recalled the apostles in the boat in the middle of the storm so focused on everything going on around them instead of who was with them! The One who tells the seas how far they can go, the One who commands the winds and the waves, the One who is always by their sides, their Savior, Jesus Christ!

The thing I learned is to turn my focus away from what is going on around me and trust in the One who saved me, Jesus Christ, the truth, the light, the everlasting life!

Where is your focus today? Social media, politics, fearful news? Take time to turn off the negative things of this world. Read, and meditate on God’s Holy Word. Spend time in fellowship with your heavenly Father and thank him for all the good things he has done and will continue to do in your life. Talk to him about your cares and then offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving for the answers to come. His unfailing love and encouragement will fill you up with his peace that passes all your own understanding.


Bonita Burleson
Comfort and Encouragement Ministries, secretary

Overcoming Fear of Precariousness

A nation of ex-slaves defiantly marched out of Egyptian control. The entire Hebrew nation looked forward to entering the land promised to their forefathers. But the Lord told the Israelites to turn back and encamp near the Red Sea.

This order appeared unreasonable. Why turn back toward Egypt? The Promised Land beckoned, so why not continue marching toward Palestine?

God continued speaking to Moses. “Pharoah will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering…in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’”  God baited Pharaoh; he wanted Pharaoh pursuing the Israelites!

God added, “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.”  Can you believe that? God purposefully and deliberately aroused Pharaoh’s desire to pursue the Israelites.

God led his people into precariousness; He placed them in harm’s way. The Lord arranged an unsettling, dangerous and frightening time for the people he loved.

Dear friends, God is love. Everything he does for us or to us springs from loving concern for our welfare. He only arranges precarious situations to help us overcome fear of precariousness. Overcoming fear of troubling, difficult times builds our faith in God and our confidence in his provision. Precarious times offer us an opportunity to find an enlivened relationship with our God and a stronger assurance in his promises.

When times were at their worst, God opened the Red Sea for his people. He used the same sea to destroy the pursuing enemy. Had he not promised Moses, “I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and his army?”  God leads us into precariousness so he can demonstrate his powerful provision for all our needs. Then, we enthusiastically glorify our Deliverer.

Overcoming fear of precariousness builds into us an expectation of victory. Without tests and tribulations, our expectations of victory remain dwarfed. The act of overcoming fear of precariousness enlarges our conviction that victory awaits us. As fear of precariousness dies, faith in victory rises.

Scripture referred to: Exodus 14

Be greatly encouraged,

Pastor James Fields 

“God leads us into precariousness so he can demonstrate his powerful provision for all our needs.”

The Ever-Present Comforter and Encourager

The Bible serves as an inexhaustible source of comfort and encouragement.  But no one can constantly keep the Bible before their eyes.

Kind-hearted, loving people often speak words that wonderfully comfort and encourage us.  However, they cannot remain with us twenty-four hours a day. Read More→

Turning Liabilities into Assets

God commanded a young man named Gideon to lead Israel in battle against their oppressors.  Gideon responded by listing his liabilities to God.  “God, I can’t lead Israel because….” Are you a modern-day Gideon?  Do you continually meditate on the disadvantages life hands you?  Some typical liabilities modern-day “Gideons” concentrate on are: an unsaved spouse, too little money, unpleasant childhood, insufficient education, personal appearance, and difficult or distasteful job.  The list of what we consider “liabilities” seems to have no end.  As long as you look for personal disadvantages, you’ll find them.  You see, human nature is turned toward concentrating on disadvantages.  Consequently, we create our own disadvantages by lack of confidence in God’s abilities. Read More→

Changed by Prayer

Many people believe prayer is an effort to cause God to do something.  Prayer, they believe, convinces God to act in the way we wish.  The statement, “prayer changes things,” flows from the lips of “both believers and unbelievers.”  Because we view prayer as an effort to cause God to do something, many only call upon the Lord during times of need. Read More→

Things Turn Out Best for Those Who Make the Best of the Way Things Turn Out

While Jesus and the apostles prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, a well-armed mob invaded their privacy.  After arresting Jesus, the throng led him to court.  Jesus faced interrogation, beating, ridicule, insult and humiliation.  After the final verdict, soldiers marched Jesus to the crucifixion site, nailing him to the cross. Read More→

Does God Care About “Little Things?”

Beautifully colored wild flowers fill our South Texas landscape during spring.  Various shades of purple, pink, yellow and white create gorgeous scenery.  Who created these millions of wild flowers?  Your heavenly Father! Read More→

The Favor I Did Not Want

Jesus healing blind man“God, what’s wrong with you?  Why don’t you heal me?”  I angrily shouted this that afternoon in 1968.  For years, I had believed, prayed, memorized Scripture, fasted, been anointed with oil and attended healing crusades.  My vision continued deteriorating and my eye muscles grew weaker.  Confused and disappointed, I blamed God for my condition.  On the other hand, I loved the Lord.  I recovered from the anger and continued loving and serving him. Read More→

Making Sense of Life on Earth

Do you ever find it difficult to make sense of life on earth?  Why physical suffering?  What’s the purpose of disappointment?  Why so much temptation to evil and enticement to sin?  Why so many broken dreams and unfulfilled expectations? Read More→