There is a palpable fear in the air (would you agree?) – and with all that is happening in the world these days, I somewhat understand. As I was considering all this, my thoughts were turned to the words of Jesus and what He said about the ‘signs’ that would appear just prior to His return to earth to “catch away” His Bride, the church. One such sign is “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many would wax cold” and another, “that men’s hearts would fail for fear of the things coming upon the earth” (Matt. 24:12, Luke 21:26). These verses – and many others – describe the days we live in. What these verses say to me (and likely tell you) is that we are living on the fringe of the imminent return of Jesus. He could come at any moment. In fact, He might very well come today. Maranatha! Now, some of you don’t really believe that Jesus could return at any moment… or particularly, that He might return today. And to you I say, remember what He said: for He told us that we should be ready, because “…in an hour ye think not, the Son of Man will come” (Matt. 24:44). But let me get back to the ‘palpable fear’ I mentioned. Again, I understand why the unbelievers are fearful. What I don’t understand is why this fear seems prevalent among so many believers. This brings me to the purpose of my post: for, as is so often the case, some of my devotional reading this morning touched on the subject of ‘fear’ in the life of a believer, and I am including a couple of brief excerpts below.
“What have we to fear? Is not our Captain on board? And with one word can He not say to the wind & the waves, ‘Peace, be still!’ and they obey Him? With hushed hearts let us listen for His sweet whisper of assurance, ‘All is well. It is I; be not afraid.’ With Christ in the boat, we smile at the storm.” (Spurgeon)
“One whose faith is continually stimulated by the ‘upward look’ gives no ground to the attempted encroachment of despair. No matter how great the trouble or how dark the outlook, a quick lifting of the heart to God in a moment of real, actual FAITH IN HIM (emphasis mine) will completely alter any situation and turn the darkness of midnight into glorious sunrise.” (Mrs. Cowman)
“But now, thus says the Lord… ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine! Therefore, when (not ‘if’) you pass through the waters – though they be deep, I will be with you; and through the rivers – though they be swift running, they shall not overflow you nor sweep you away. And when (not ‘if’) you pass through the fire – though the fire be hot, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you… for I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior’.” (Isaiah 43:1-3, free translation)