There seems to be an incredible amount of fear these days. Fear of economic depression. Fear of government. Fear of losing a job, fear of losing health insurance, fear of becoming insolvent. Fear is paralyzing our economy. Banks are not lending because they fear that those who whom they lend will become insolvent and they will lose. Without credit, many businesses fail, and the bank’s concerns become self-fulfilling prophecies. Terrorists attempt to keep us afraid. The only reasons bin Laden keeps speaking is in order to galvanize the Islamic world against us and to instill fear in the West. And this does not begin to touch our personal apprehensions. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of suffering violence at the hands of others. Fear of persecution. Fear of our own economic situation and its stability.
Fear is a very natural impulse. Fear is very paralyzing. Fear can also be manipulated to ungodly ends.
And [Jesus] laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not; I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18).
“And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
While it is easy to be fearful of one’s economic future, Christians should not fear and know that as long as they seek the Kingdom first, God will take care of them (Matthew 6:33).
While it is easy to be afraid of terrorists or to be manipulated by worldly authorities to fear some group of people, Christians should have no fear of such persons, for Christ is Lord of all (1 Corinthians 15).
While it is easy to be concerned about one’s physical welfare, Christians should remember that Jesus told them not to fear those who can injure or kill the body, but instead to fear the wrath of God– He who can deliver body and soul to the Gehenna of fire (Matthew 10:28).
Fear is paralyzing. Faith is liberating (John 8:32). Fear looks down. Faith looks up (Colossians 3:1). Fear focuses on the earthly. Faith focuses on the heavenly (Hebrews 11:9-10). Fear condemns. Faith saves (Romans 1:17).
In this time of great fear, my hope and prayer for every Christian is that the world will see that they belong to Christ because they can perceive the peace in them that surpasses all understanding– that, in the end, their faith in God triumphs over all their fears.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do: and the God of peace shall be with you (Philippians 4:7-9).