WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Fear”

Moving Forward In Fear

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Fear can petrify, but only because we’ve given it power. If we remember God is always by our side, the fears causing us to quake in our boots will suddenly be exposed as the imaginary monsters that once lived under our beds.

The phrases “Fear not” or “Be not afraid”, occur 103 times in the King James Version of the Bible. When we consider that God has selected every word in the Bible, we can draw a few conclusions. Repeated words are repeated for a reason. God wants us to pay attention and take them to heart.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

God understands the human condition, yet He still requires obedience and faith. Trusting an unseen God with daily life choices is hard enough, but when those choices include life and death situations, we must lasso and claim His undeniable love for us. Only then will we overcome the mysterious and painful challenges in our path.

Where we place our confidence will determine our stance when trouble comes. Consider Moses. God was met with resistance when He told Moses to return to Egypt and confront the mighty Pharaoh, demanding that he free the Israelites (Exodus 3 and 4). Moses was self-conscious and fearful about being the mouthpiece of Jehovah. (Some scholars believe Moses had a speech impediment, such as stuttering. Ex. 4:10). Instead of trusting that God had already enabled him for the work, he let insecurity rob his confidence. He had his eyes on his flesh and not an ALL POWERFUL God.

Although God provided Aaron as a mouth for Moses, he still had to decide whether he would obey God or let personal fears deter him from his calling. As we well know, Moses did move forward, in his fear and insecurity, to confronted Pharaoh and lead God’s people to freedom. His faith in God was greater than his fear.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

Our heavenly Father never forces us to do anything. But, like a good father teaching his daughter/son how to change a flat tire or cook a meal, He encourages us to step out in faith to learn and do things that will assist us. We can be confident He has our best interests at heart. We are under His protection and all seeing eyes.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”  Psalm 139:9-10 (NKJV)

We have the Holy Spirit living within us. He will faithfully lead us into all truth and empower us to cope with every task ahead. We should not be afraid to venture out of our comfort zone to answer God’s call to serve. As we begin our new path, we might see just one step ahead, but we cannot let that deter us! When we take that single step forward, God rejoices over our decision to trust Him and will reveal sound footing for our next step.

You may ask, “Where is God taking me? What will I need to do? Is adversity and suffering part of this journey? Why is the entire footpath engulfed in a fog?” Could it be that if you saw the obstacles and blessings down the way, you would be overwhelmed? God knows us well and He wants to encourage and cheer us forward. Just as Moses walked forward in fear, we too must build up our most holy faith and face our fears. Praise God who faithfully leads, provides, protects, and helps us throughout our journey to our eternal home!

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14 (NKJV)

 “Seeing that a pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.” ~John Calvin

Fear: The Absence of Peace

Replaces Fear w:Peace TL

When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear robs our peace of mind, weakens our resolve, disturbs our rest, and even causes us to question the presence of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walks with Christ unless we learn to face it and overcome it with the grace of God.

In Isaiah 26:3 we read how God keeps those whose minds are steadfastly transfixed on Him in perfect peace. When we take all thoughts captive and trust God with our well being, fear departs. Our faith in His power will remove our insecurities, wobbly uncertainty, and unstable nervousness.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Because God knit each one of us together, He understands our nature and individual weaknesses. He lovingly calls out, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV). It is His desire for us to rest in His peace. God longs to give us rest. Faith requires trust, and peace is the fruit of that trust in God.

Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” in Isaiah 9:6. When He walked the earth as the Son of Man, He told us that in this world we will have tribulation. But He also told us to be of good cheer since He had conquered the grave. This fact alone should produce peace in our hearts. The battle has already been won. Eternal peace is our guarantee, but peace while on still on earth is also available. In fact, we are told to pursue it!

“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 (NKJV)

How then do we pursue peace? Through Christ and Christ alone! With supplication and petitions we enter the very throne room of God and while in His very presence, we witness a mediator who intercedes on our behalf both day and night, for He never sleeps. By knocking on His door and seeking Him out, He will accept our offer of fellowship and dine with us. While in His company, He fills us with a hope, inexpressible joy, and comforting peace. Trusting in His love for us produces peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 (NKJV)

Psalm 23 speaks of how God provides peace even when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. With our eyes focused on Him, not concentrating on our problems, He leads us beside still waters and makes us lie down in green pastures for a peaceful rest.

When we walk in the Spirit of God, the fruit of the Spirit will be very evident in our lives. Peace, not fear is a component of this fruit. We must crucify our flesh, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NKJV). By doing this, God blesses His people with peace.

“God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst… will be quiet in the middle of alarm.” ~ F.B Meyer

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“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NKJV)

“And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” Daniel 10:19 (NKJV)

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (NKJV)

“It is good to remind ourselves that the will of God comes from the heart of God and that we need not be afraid.” ~Warren Wiersbe

Fear And Faith Ride Out The Storm

*Ship

Imagine “Fear” as a dark creature with long fingers wearing a tattered hat.  This hat covers much of his disfigured face, but his dark eyes are visible.  His cold and intimidating glare is quite unnerving and if caught off guard, his appearance can stun, startle, and terrorize an unsuspecting believer. 

Fear surely giggles with glee when he catches the children of God unprepared or napping, for his master has trained him well in the tactics of spiritual warfare.  Satan wants believers to be ineffective and powerless.  He will try everything in his power to daze and stupefy us. To dumbfound a Christian into paralysis is to create a roadblock and delay in the plans of God. 

“Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.” ~Charles Stanley 

Now imagine “Faith” as a Sailor in his uniform whites.  What a courageous and confident fellow he is indeed!  No rough waters or storms can knock him off his feet.  He is steady and well balanced.  His eyes reflect a quiet confidence that oozes strength and vigor.  One look at Faith and Fear crumbles to the ground, a dark mass of broken bits. 

Hebrews 10:38 says “The just will live by faith.”  A “just” person is someone who is fair, virtuous, and honest.  “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)  So a JUST person, living by faith, is virtuous and certain of things not seen.  He knows that God is beside him, even when He remains quiet. When Fear approaches a JUST man, his plans are foiled because if we resist the enemy he must flee. This is a promise of God! 

Faith does not make things easy.  Faith makes things possible. Luke 1:37 reminds us, “For with God nothing will be impossible.”  Sailor boy Faith knows this truth.  It is what gives him the confidence to stare hurricane force winds and deadly storms in the face without a blink of his eye.  He knows that God is steering his ship and that all he needs to do is hold on, trusting God to see him through his adventure. 

If you are facing storms that bring you face to face with FEAR, call out to God.  Ask Him to mature and strengthen your faith. You will most likely have to weather out the storm you are experiencing, but your Father will use your willingness to trust in His provisions to build up your faith. God is the Captain of your ship and Fear has no place on deck. He will command you to toss Fear overboard during your storms; you will be wise to obey this order!

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”   Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) 

The best part of seeing your way through a storm, even if you think you have been blown off course, is watching how God takes the wheel and delivers to safety. Sometimes our poor life choices blow us off course, but God knows how to get us back on course by redirecting our steps. And then use our rabbit trail to accomplish the purpose He always intended! 

There is a calm after a storm. Enjoy the fresh air and the gentle breezes.  Allow them to heal your weary soul.  Let the faith of God rule in your heart.  May it bring you through every gale and hurricane, bluster and thunderstorm in life. 

FIND ENCOURAGEMENT WITHIN THIS QUOTE AND SCRIPTURE VERSES 

“Seeing that a pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.” ~John Calvin

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked came against me
 to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes,
 they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; 
Though war may rise against me,
 In this I will be confident.”   Psalm 27:1-3 (NKJV)

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1 (NAS)

“That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”                 1 Corinthians 2:5 (NKJV)

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4 (NKJ)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnAOJuwqQLI

Faith Is Tied To Fear

Fear Not

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV)

“Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.”  ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick                          http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Fear-Quotes/page-2.shtml

Fear is tied to faith. The amount of fear you hold in your heart is equal to the amount of faith you have in God. Faith and fear are at war in most believers, so you are not alone in your struggle to trust God with all things.

Challenges that appear impossible to conquer eventually mature into doubts. Doubt gives birth to fear. Fears attack our hopes and dreams, the well being of our loved ones, our own health and safety, as well as our work for Christ. When we doubt the power of God and give in to our fears we doubt the Creator of the universe.

Fears imprison believers and yet, God sent His son Jesus to set all captives free. Faith liberates and heals those who have been paralyzed by its deceptive powers. Faith provides clear vision for those who cast aside their doubts. The clear vision being…. God will provide and make all things work together for good.

Not understanding why affliction enters our lives has caused many to struggle with their faith. If we knew all the reasons and had the answers to all of our questions, we wouldn’t need faith. God wants His children to depend on Him. We are not to work through our struggles with our own strength. Rather, we are to move through our storms with the strength God provides.

Fear of man is a snare, a trap that will always hinder our growth and maturity in Christ. The enemy hates it when ….

To read the rest of this devotion please go to  http://facingtrials.com

Are You Much-Afraid?

Hinds_Feet_on_High_Places_large

“The Lord God is my strength; 
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
and He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:19 (NKJV)

I love the book, Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard.    I so identify with the main character, Much-Afraid. When facing past trials, I always fell prey to panic and submitted to my fears. If only I had trusted my mighty God to see me through each one BEFORE the fears started to overwhelm me!!

I am growing in my faith daily, and my trust in Him is much stronger now. Through every trial I have faced, He has equipped me to face it. Faithfully, He holds my hand as I overcome new obstacles, reassuring me of His faithfulness. 

The character Much-Afraid goes on a difficult uphill journey to the High Places.  Believe me when I say the journey is difficult but really worth it in the end.  The Good Shepherd provides companions to guide her along the way and He appears whenever she cries out for His help.

Upon reaching her destination, Much-Afraid gets a wonderful new name. Her companions, “Sorrow” and “Suffering” also receive new names.  She is no longer lame and faith replaces her fear nature.

We are all on a journey of transformation.  What you were before rebirth is gone.  You are now a new creation!!  The refining process takes a lifetime, but the willing servant will always become that diamond.  God does not see us as lumps of coal.  He sees us as the jewels He fashioned us to be when He knit us together in our mother’s womb.

If you have not read this book…. Get it!! It is full of analogies and will meet you just where you are in life. It is a favorite book of mine and has given me a lot of comfort and instruction over the years.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Revelations 2:17 (NKJV)

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:1-2 (NKJV) 

A good link…    http://whitestoneweb.com/index.php/archives/238

Why Are You Afraid?

Why R U Afraid?

Fear Of Man Is A Snare Of The “devil”

Fear of Man:Snare-Proverbs-29-25

“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid
of a man who will die, 
and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?”   Isaiah 51:12-13 (NKJV) 

Unjust claims and accusations are never pleasant and can bring a boatload of trouble to an innocent believer.  The *devil would love to destroy your good name and reputation.  Do not fear what man can do to you for we serve a just God!  He will repay them for the sins they have brought against you.  In His perfect time there will be justice.

If you are unjustly persecuted for His sake, you have the assurance of His strength and guidance.  He will direct you in how you should proceed.  “Fear of man is a snare but those who trust in the Lord will be kept safe.”(Proverbs 29:25) 

When facing adversity, whom first do you call upon for comfort, guidance, and help?  Is it God or a friend?  Maybe it is your spouse or a family member.  Who first SHOULD you call upon? 

Please go to http://facingtrials.com  to read the rest of this devotion.

 

My Peace I Leave You

PEACE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmFd0MvU7zo

Perfect Peace: by Laura Story

“Peace is not the absence of affliction but the presence of God.”              Unknown

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in You.”   Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”                         John 16:33 (NIV)

Dear One,                                                                                                                        The Word of God tells us that in this life we will have tribulations, but that we can find peace in Christ Jesus.  We should find encouragement in knowing He has overcome the world through His death and resurrection.  He offers His children peace in the midst of their trials and storms.  John 14:27 directs all believers to put aside fear and worry, and yet we continue to fall prey to fright and anxiety.  Why do we refuse, neglect, or forget the peace our God offers us so freely?

Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God will keep in perfect peace the one who has a STEADFAST MIND.  To be steadfast is to be resolute, firm, and unwavering in conviction.  This conviction and stance to rely on God lends itself to stability.  Stability and loyalty to God produces a peace that transcends all understanding.  This verse also states that the one who is steadfast TRUSTS in God.  Trust produces a steadfast spirit, which then produces a conviction of faith and reliance, which bears the fruit of peace and a sense of stability.

When we trust in God, the fruits of the Holy Spirit become more evident in our lives.  Romans 15:13 offers up a prayer asking the God of HOPE to fill those in need with joy and peace as they trust in His power.  By trusting God in all matters, He will fill us with joy, peace, and hope!  Indeed, He blesses His people with peace! (Ps. 29:11)

We find in Psalm 119:165 that those who love God’s law have great peace and that nothing can make them stumble.  With a solid knowledge of the scripture, the Holy Spirit can speak to your heart and mind, directing your steps so you don’t stumble in your spiritual walk. 

Peace is gained through a trust and faith in God.  It requires believers to consciously lay down their will and set aside their fears, casting them off with purpose.  Reading the Bible permits the Holy Spirit to direct our steps, thus reducing any anxiety pertaining to what we should do and where we should go.  Peace comes to those who trust a guide who is wise and able to do all things.

Finally, Philippians 4:6-7 describes a peace that transcends or surpasses all understanding.  In order to attain this peace, we must petition God with our requests and do so with a thankful heart.  The thanks comes in knowing that He hears and answers all of our prayers with His infinite wisdom and grace.  May the peace of our God be with you today, dear one.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”                                      Romans 15:13 (NIV)

“Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.”   Psalm 119:165 (NIV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”          Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Do You Fear God?

 Fear

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.”   Psalm 33:8-9 (NIV)

The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.”    Deuteronomy 6:24  (NIV)

Dear One,

What do you think it means to fear the Lord? A worldly or human view of fear involves some kind of evil or threat.  When the Scripture tells us to fear God, it does not mean we should run and hide from Him. Instead, it refers to a holy and righteous fear of respect.  It is the dread of offending God because we love Him. 

God is all about relationships.  He longs to be intimate with His children.  Since He knit you together in your mother’s womb, He already knows you inside and out.  It is up to you to reach out to Him. When seeking the Lord, He will be found.  By knocking on the door of His heart, He will gladly come to fellowship and dine with you. 

It is up to all of us to seek Him out.  Not only to discover His mysteries and wonders, but to build a relationship with Him. He is an open book, but we must put forth the effort and read His pages. The more time we spend with Him, the more we will want to share His love with others.

There are many benefits in fearing God with a reverent fear.  In Deuteronomy 6:24, the Lord commands His people to obey all of His decrees and to fear God, so that they might always prosper and be kept alive.  He prolongs the life, and shelters or protects, those who fear Him.  He will be your strong tower and hiding place. 

Psalm 25:12-15 promises prosperity to the one who fears Him, and also blessings upon their decedents.  He will instruct those with a reverent fear in the way they should choose.  Best of all, He confides in those who fear Him. Imagine, the Creator of all things wants to honor us with His confidences!

Scriptures informs us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Wisdom is more beneficial that rubies and gold.  Therefore, to gain wisdom is to gain treasure in heaven.

God promises that the angel of the Lord will encamp around those who fear Him.  Powers of darkness and the devil himself may try to devour us, but we will be protected by the angel armies of God.  We will never lack any good thing, and this includes our safety.

Sometimes depression, heartache, illness, fear, dread, apprehension, and physical dangers are battled in the spiritual realm.  Trials can be tests from God or an attack from the enemy.  Consider *satan’s attack on Job, and God’s testings of Abraham.  There are many bible stories praising men and women with a reverent and holy fear of God. They obediently acted on and accepted His instructions and plans.  Think of Noah building an arch and Joshua marching around the walls of Jericho.  They had a reverent fear of God and were rewarded for their faith and obedience. 

Do you hold God in a position of high regard and respect?   Do you maintain a reverent fear of God? Have you any need to be reminded that His ways are much higher than your ways?  Do not forget that His thoughts are not your thoughts and His ways are not your ways.  They are so much higher and wondrous. He created all things.  You are His lovely creation and beloved child.  Refine your reverent fear of Him and then, behold the wonders He works within and around you.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.”   Psalm 34:7 (NIV)

 “And He said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”  Job 28:28 (NIV) 

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” He said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”   Genesis 22:12 (NIV)

“Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?  He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.  They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land. The Lord confides in those who fear Him; 
He makes His covenant known to them.”  Psalm 25:12-14 (NIV)

*Intentionally not capitalized 

What Is Your Perspective On Trials, Storms, and Tribulations?

**This article was written BEFORE the author knew of the bombings in Boston. We pray for the injured.  What the devil means for evil, God will turn to something good. We must watch, wait, pray, hope, trust, and believe.

Praise in Storm

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”   Philippians 4:14 (ESV)

“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.”  -Anonymous

Dear One,                                                                                                                      When a trial comes your way, do you groan and think of it as an ordeal to muddle through?  Is your first reaction one of fear and dread, or do you see each new struggle with more positive eyes?  The love of Jesus can shed light on your difficulties and bring about a change in your perspective. 

John 16:33 states that you will have tribulations in this earthly life. God will allow or design trials to teach and transform you into the image of His Son, Jesus.  Each struggle is an opportunity to learn more about God and the character of Christ.

The Word calls a man blessed, if he can remain steadfast under a trial (Js.1:12).  By withstanding the test in front of him, he will receive the crown of life.  This crown is promised to those who love God.  It is rewarded to believers who endure suffering and remain faithful to God, even to the point of death. 

There are eternal rewards for remaining steadfast in your faith.  This means you must proceed in God’s plan for your life while enduring difficult trials and tests.  You must move forward in God’s assignment for you, however challenging it may be.  God does not set up His children to fail.  You may think the trail is too much for you but with God’s grace you will pull through. 

Mature Christians, when facing a new trial; have learned to approach the difficulty with a more introspective and positive attitude. Their faith in the promises of God have been engraved upon their hearts, deep enough so that fear is practically nonexistent.  Knowing that God is aware of their frame and that they are but dust gives them confidence. They know that when they are weak, God will be their strength.  This mature Christian knows that God brings Himself glory through human weaknesses. 

There will always be the knee-jerk reaction and shock of an unexpected trial.  Learning to shake off the immediate reaction of dread and fear takes practice.  However, any effort to combat an attack or conflict with eyes of faith will prove profitable.  New spiritual muscles will develop and a deeper dependence on Christ will thus enrich our intimate relationship with Him.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (ESV) 

 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”   James 1:12 (ESV) 

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”                 Rev 2:10 (ESV)

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