Why NOT Fear?
“Fear is poison in combat. Something we all felt but you just didn’t show it. You can’t. It’s destructive, and it’s contagious.”
– Sgt. Carwood Lipton, 506thPIR, 101st Airborne Division, Quoted in Band of Brothers
The times we’re living in now has surpassed the fall of 2001 as the weirdest I’ve ever experienced. There’s so much I could editorialize about what’s happening globally right now, but I feel the need to address the Christians. If you aren’t a Christian, I hope you’ll say yes to Jesus!
Never before have I seen not only rampant fear, but unbridled panic. I can understand people without God freaking out. What hope do they have? Only vague wishes that somehow things will work out. Not much comfort in the face of such dark fear.
Thankfully, many of my fellow believers have been admonishing people to “fear not!”
But why shouldn’t we fear? The circumstances are scary.
Is our only advantage the hope that God will muddle through along with us through the misery, but someday, in the sweet by and by, we’ll get to go to heaven, and then everything will be happy?
I believe we have a lot of good reasons to fear not! I believe that because I’ve seen it in the Bible, and I can’t un-see it. I had a hard time believing some of these things at first, but I’m learning to trust Him more and more.
I’m not scared of any pandemic. Why? Here’s just a few reasons:
Psalm 91, especially verses 5-7, and 9-11. “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge—then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways…”
How can I cower in fear if I believe that?
“But what if I (or someone I love) gets sick?”
The entire Bible has good news on that front!
In Isaiah 53, verses 11 and 12, we read a prophecy about Jesus which says he’ll bear (carry away) our sins. Moments earlier, in verse 4, the prophet tells us he bore (same word in Hebrew as above) our “infirmities,” which refers to “sickness, illness, suffering, and disease.” (Don’t take my word for it—look it up!) This is followed by the famous verse 5: “By his stripes we are healed.”
These verses are referenced twice in the New Testament in regards to the work of Jesus (Matt 8:17, and I Peter 2:24).
But wait, there’s more!
James 5:15 says the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well. Notice the condition for healing isn’t whether or not it’s God’s will, it’s whether or not the prayer is offered in faith. If you don’t like it, take it up with Him—I didn’t write it!
We follow Jesus Christ, right? He said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38) He also said he does what he sees the Father do (John 5:19).
So, just what did Jesus do? Healed every person who ever came to him for healing! He never said “No” to anyone! In fact, God never said no to anyone who sought him for healing in the whole Bible! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Furthermore, he never said, “It’s not my timing—maybe later.” Or “Sorry, but you have sin in your life,” or “Sorry, you don’t have enough faith,” etc.
We believe the part in “The Great Commission” where Jesus tells His disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matt. 28:19) I think the Church has done an outstanding job of that. But what about the second half of His sentence? “…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (verse 20) In Matt. 10:8, He commanded His disciples to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” Doesn’t that count?
So why isn’t everyone healed? I don’t know, but far be it from me to devise a theology based on my experiences and disappointments, rather than what I’ve seen in the Book.
Ask yourself: If Jesus walked into a room full of sick people, what would He do? Then consider that He’s actually God, and you’ll see where He stands on the issue.
I’m not suggesting we deny reality. Even though we trust God, we’re still IN the world, and can still be affected by the situation (anyone have any toilet paper I can use? Haha). Jesus said in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble.” But He doesn’t stop there! He immediately adds, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So even though we’re still affected by social distancing, economic realities, etc., we don’t have to be ruled by the global pandemic of fear.
Jesus said you must be like a child to believe. How about instead of stressing over a bunch of hysteria, we go to God and realize He actually gives us promises of protection and healing? Aren’t all His promises Yes and Amen? (2 Cor. 1:20)
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