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God's presence dispels fear

WHEN we encounter fears and dangers on the turbulent waters of this human scene, is there anything we can turn to for help? Christ Jesus taught his followers that all have a divine Parent, whom he called our Father. He proved that this Father is always present to protect and save when we turn to Him in prayer. In his own life Jesus was supremely conscious of this healing and sustaining presence of God when he was tempted by the devil, when he was threatened by a hostile mob, when he was in danger from a severe storm at sea. In every case he was protected; his consciousness of the presence of God excluded the fear of danger.

Trust in God, based on an understanding of His nature, enables us to surmount fear. We need also to feel God's presence more consistently through prayer, through quiet listening for His pure thoughts and affirmation of His absolute supremacy. God is all-powerful, the one Mind, guiding and protecting His creation, and we can come to feel and prove this.

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In the Bible, the prophet represents God as saying, ''I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.''n1

n1 Isaiah 41:13. The Bible also tells us that God is Spirit. Therefore He is not limited to a certain area where, as a result, there is safety. God, by virtue of His nature as Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love, is present everywhere, and man can never be outside the safety of His presence.God is All; there is no other presence, no other power. This truth, as we perceive it, enables us to gain mastery over the fear of danger and over danger itself.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ''God is everywhere. 'There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard;' and this voice is Truth that destroys error and Love that casts out fear.''n2

n2 Retrospection and Introspection,m p.61.

A Christian Scientist had always been filled with fear at the thought of traveling on the water. This was a fear associated with her mother, who would never go on a boat if she could possibly help it. This fear in the daughter contributed to seasickness and even extended to travel sickness generally. In the past she had suffered from fear and illness on trains, in the air, and on the water.

When friends proposed a sailing vacation, she realized that this lifelong fear had to be surmounted. She began to see that even in the confines of a small boat she was in the presence of God. How could that presence bring anything but joy and peace! She knew that God was in perfect control of His spiritual universe, and that she and her friends could experience that control every day. With each member of the crew praying along these lines, the vacation proved to be a great success. Even when seas were rough, no one experienced either fear or sickness. Whatever fear may confront us-whether it's associated with a job interview, a walk down a dark street, a combat situation, or some other circumstance-the knowledge that we are in God's presence can dispel the fear. The perception of His presence reveals the true and unfailing nature of our security. God's man-our actual selfhood-is utterly safe, now, for there is nothing to fear in the safety of God's presence, from which we are inseparable. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord. . . is my strength and my song; he also is become ny salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Isaiah 12:2-4

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