by Brandy Webb
Fear is a powerful tool that Satan likes to use against us, and here lately I keep hearing a lot of fear. Fear over who is going to get elected, fear of the economy, fear of China, fear of Russia, fear of North Korea, and the biggest fear, that we are getting closer to the end of the world. Now, as Christians, why are we so afraid of the end of the world? Why do we get fearful when we look at the world around us and we start thinking that the time is near for Armageddon? Aren’t we supposed to be praying for God’s kingdom to come (Matt 6:10)?
Don’t we also know that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1:9); therefore, the world is just as bad as it probably always has been just in varying ways. I know I would not have wanted to live during the Medieval Inquisition or during the Spanish Inquisition of the late Middle Ages. What I am trying to point out is that right now may not be the worse the world has ever been.
I know it is easy to give into fear when there is so much fear mongering going on around us, but we aren’t supposed to have the spirit of fear, but the spirit of “power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 1:7). So, I ask you and myself, seriously, what are we afraid of? Is it the unknown, pain, struggles, hardships, loss, and death? If we are afraid of these things, then we are not holding onto God’s promises. We are allowing this life to destroy our joy, hope, and faith. And, if we can’t live a life that shines God’s spiritual fruit, how do we expect to be any different from the rest of the world? How are we supposed to prove to the skeptics that God is real if we cower in fear?
Some of the best testimonies proving the existence of God are from people who live a life of true belief even when they are going through trials that we can’t even imagine. For instance, Paul never gave up on his faith even when he was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and eventually faced martyrdom. In fact, while he was imprisoned in Rome he made a profound statement in Philippians 1:21-26:
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Paul did not fear death, nor did he fear suffering for Christ sake, so that Christ could be glorified. I want to be like Paul instead of a timid fearful person. We need to strive to not let fear defeat us. Jesus died for us to break “the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb 2:14-15). Therefore, let us not forsake this awesome gift of freedom. Instead let us accept it and become truly free from the fear of death and any other fears we may have.
This is our time to shine in darkness. This is our time to give hope to each other and to unbelievers. This is our time to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” without fear because we know that God is with us, and He comforts us (Psa 23:4). So, let us walk the path of faith and not fear, and as we go into the Passover, let us remember we have a Messiah that knows and understands our struggles. He is there to comfort us, and He died for us so that we can hold onto the hope of eternal life. Therefore, what is there to fear, if He is for us who can be against us? Plus, why fear what this world can do to us when we can hold onto the hope that this life is not the end.