We All Scream For Ice Cream

The Rhea Herald News

November 19, 2014

“…the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (ESV, Psalm 33:8)

During the Great Depression in the last century, President Franklin D. Roosevelt voiced these famous words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He knew the crippling impact unrelenting fear could have on our nation emotionally and financially. In our contemporary world we know of the devastating results when we let our fears control us. Spiders and mice scare many to jump on top of unstable tables. Me? I would climb a thorn bush to get away from a snake.

In the absence of real, genuine hope, fear is overwhelming.

“Fear” and “the fear of the Lord” translate the thought of dread, reverence, terror, timidity, wonder, stupendous, or awe. I like stupendous a lot. Fear is a two-edged sword. For those who reject the Son, Jesus Christ, fear in the sense of dread is unavoidable. Jesus Himself said, “Whoever believes in the Son [trusts in Him alone] has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). Ouch. What does that say about our call to intentionally invest in folks who are without Christ?

The sword of awesome fear has a wonderful side: God has given followers of Christ a new perspective and certain hope. Psalm 147 is encouraging: “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving…He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food…[But] His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147:7-11).

John Piper writes of huge storms and stars: “…he cups his hands around us…And in that place of refuge we say, ‘This is amazing, this is terrible, this is incredible power; Oh, the thrill of being here in the center of the awful [awesome] power of God, yet protected by God himself!’”

In an unforgettable seminary moment, Dr. Ron Allen told of being in an ice cream shop with the teenage son of a famous Christian leader after the two men spoke at a conference. When the boy sat down at Dr. Allen’s table with a multi-colored, piled high cone of frozen delight, he shouted, “This is awesome!”

Dr. Allen laughed as he told the story and then became serious and said, “Gentlemen, ice cream is not awesome. God is awesome.” May we save the best words for God.

What brings you fear? Trust in Jesus Christ alone for your eternal destiny and you will have a sure hope now—and you will have the awesome, only God who will surround you with his steadfast love.

Now, that’s indescribably greater than all the Mayfield Butter Pecan ice cream in the world.

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