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Faith to be Fearless

What are the things people fear most in life?  Certainly, the fear of death ranks highly among man's greatest fears.  The fear of injury, illness, disability, or other physical harm is also common.  Many people are fearful of losing their property or their sources of income, and they worry about having the basic necessities of life.  Some are afraid of losing their liberty or being separated from their loved ones.  Some are even afraid of the unknown.

Christians are blessed through faith in Christ to overcome the fears that are common to man.  Indeed, we can be effectively fearless because of our faith in Christ.  It is Christ who gives us this fearlessness and confidence, for He strengthens us and raises us above fear.  We know that Christ has already given the ultimate sacrifice for us in dying on the cross so that we are assured of His great love and benevolence toward us (John 15:13).  Therefore, we know that we can trust His promise that He will come again, take us out of this world, and bring us into His Father's house (John 14:1-4).  This trust in Him allows us to overcome the fear of anything this world may threaten against us.

Consider a Christian's faithful fearlessness against the threats of the world. Concerning death, a Christian knows that Jesus died and arose from the grave "that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives" (Heb. 2:14-15).  Now, through the hope of the resurrection, Christians have victory over death and no longer are captive to its fear (1Cor. 15:51-58).  Concerning physical harm, Christians know that nothing can separate them from the love of God in Christ (Rom. 8:35-39) and that "though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day" (2Cor. 4:16). Christians expect to put off the flesh with its infirmities and live forever in a spiritual body (1Cor. 15:42-50) As far as the necessities of life, Christians trust that if they seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all such things will be provided to them (Matt. 6:33).  They also learn to be content with nothing more than the necessities (Phil. 4:12-13; 1Tim. 6:6-8).  As for liberty, true liberty is found only in Christ (John 8:31-32), and not even a prison cell can steal that liberty from a Christian (Acts 16:25; Heb. 10:34; 1Pet. 3:14-17; Rev. 2:10).  Concerning loved ones, Christians know that the Lord will come again to take all believers to be with Him always (1Thess. 4:13-18), so they work to convince their loved ones to believe in Him.

Don't misunderstand the meaning of a Christian's fearlessness through faith in Christ.  It is not that faithful Christians should not fear anything or anyone, but rather it is that they should not fear anything or anyone in this world.  Jesus said, "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28).  Indeed, the fear of God must be present within every Christian, for it is He who can justly condemn us for sin.  Many times in the New Testament, we see the goodness and necessity of such godly fear in Christians (Acts 5:5, 11; 9:31; 19:17; Rom. 11:20-22; 2Cor. 5:11; 7:1; Eph. 5:21; Phil. 2:12; 1Pet. 1:17; 2:17).  Even so, the fear of God in Christians is not the fear of imminent wrath or destruction, for "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love" (1John 4:18). Instead, a faithful Christian fears God with a deep reverence for His power and authority.

To further qualify the meaning of a Christina's fearlessness, it must be understood that this fearlessness is not because Christians are invincible or immune to the things of this world.  Christians will still suffer death and all of the other hardships that are common to man. However, Christians are equipped with the faith in Christ that is necessary to handle all of these situations without fear.  Faith in Christ gives us the confidence of overcoming all of these in such a way that they all seem minor in comparison to the overwhelming victory we have in Him. "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith" (1John 5:4).

Of course, our level fearlessness is only according to our level of faith in Christ. Our fears of worldly things will only be relieved if we believe in the Lord and His promises.  He says, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful" (John 14:27).  The world does not know the peace that is in Christ, and it cannot offer anything but fear and uncertainty.  Therefore, let us believe in the Lord, and may our faith in Him result in fearlessness in us.

Stacey E. Durham



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