What Will You Fear, Love, and Trust This Year?
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless His name; tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness, tremble before Him, all the earth! Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.’ Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in His faithfulness.Psalm 96
You shall have no other gods. What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. The Second Commandment
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What do you fear?
Are you kidding me, you ask? What kind of question is that? It’s the beginning of the school year! There’s plenty to fear. How about not getting planning done on time? What about the group dynamic of your class? How is “that kid” going to do? What about parents and their concerns? Then there’s other small considerations to fear, such as paying the bills, commuting in bad weather, and extracurricular stuff. Okay, I get it. There’s plenty to fear going into this school year.
Regardless of your experience, there will always be stresses and stressors. I wish I could tell you that if you simply trusted God enough, you’d never fear. But that’s just not true. Our spiritual ancestors in the salvation story struggled with worries and fears. The burdens of sin, death, and Satan crouched at their door. They were often driven to fear and despair. I’m sure you can understand. In this broken world, fear is just part of the package.
But David points us to a different kind of fear in Psalm 96—a fear of God above all else. This fear is different from any other fear we face at the beginning of the school year. It comes from an understanding that no matter what unknowns the world throws at us, God is greater. He made the heavens and the earth. He is God; we are not. Any unknown in your class, any deadline you’re sure you won’t meet, any classroom management worry, none of them are greater than our God.
And the best part of it all is that despite the fact that we have reason to fear God above all else, He has chosen to love us. It’s a love so great that He overcame sin, death, and hell for you. He sent His Son into the flesh to bear our sin and be our Savior, to redeem us and restore us as His forever-loved children.
We go into this school year as we always do—in God’s care. We will have fears. These fears will hopefully help us grow and develop as teachers. The whole time, though, God’s got us right in His hand. Let’s focus on Him first. The God of the universe has called us and forgiven us in Christ. We have an eternity set aside for us. So, we fear, love, and trust in God above all things and go about our God-given callings today in His peace.
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