When I stand back to gain some perspective, I find something the world can’t give. It is a confidence from knowing Truth, as I read God’s Word. It is peace that transcends all understanding.
Today people are intolerant of those with opposing views, and increasingly hostile toward those who hold ethical and spiritual values. There is pressure to compromise and conform.
The more we will stand on faith and fight back fear, the more pressure we are bound to encounter. It has been said, “It is the live fish that swim upstream against the current; it is dead fish that comfortably float with the current.”
Dr. Ed Hindson, Bible teacher on the King Is Coming telecast, professor at Liberty University, and a prolific author says “Do not be scared, be prepared.” He says that we have a “royal destiny to fulfill.” Jesus is creating a new heaven and a new earth where there will be no more fear, disease, tears, hurt, joyless work, death, mourning, pain, curse or night.
In Revelation, Jesus gives us two commands: Do not be afraid and be faithful. He acknowledges that there are spiritual forces of evil at work behind the scenes in government, as well as hostile religious forces.
According to Darrell W. Johnson, author of Discipleship on the Edge, “The real target was Jesus. But since he has defeated Satan at the cross and in the empty tomb, Satan can no longer hurt Jesus. So the enemy goes after that which is dearest to Jesus, namely his church.” (God’s people)
Johnson gives four helps to nurture faith over fear.
- Do not panic. The pressure only comes because we are getting closer to Jesus who is the real target. His presence is the reason for the pressure.
- The testing of our faith. Jesus himself is our only security and hope. To prove and improve our faith, and keep on going when it gets tough. What the enemy intends for harm, Jesus uses for refinement.
- Jesus is the final authority over the pressure and there is a time limit. Jesus Christ is in control. Johnson explains, “The political and religious forces have free will. The spiritual forces of darkness have free will. But they exist only by permission of God and their power is limited by God. Evil is on a leash. Its pressure has a limit.”
- Jesus makes promises. Those who endure will receive “the crown of life.” (It is a victor’s crown, like that of an Olympian) Secondly, he promises those who overcome will not be hurt by the second death. The first death we all die. The second death is the final death. We are either forever banished from the presence of God or with Him forever. E.V. Hill, who was a prominent pastor in Los Angeles said it like this, “Those who are born once, die twice; those who are born twice, die once.”
Persevere in this confidence: In John 16:33 Jesus said, “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.” (NIV)
What is your favorite Scripture passage that reminds you to keep the faith and not give into fear? Please share in the comments below…
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