Fear and Faith
In just the past several weeks the level of fear and anxiety in our nation of Canada has increased at a remarkable rate. The threat of an ‘invisible’ virus upon our personal health has served to remove our typical Canadian sense of personal comfortability and control. The economy has not been spared either. Many people are facing reduced work hours, business closures and unemployment. The consequences of this virus are real. The fear of not knowing how this will play out is palpable. People aren’t sure even how to properly socialize and many relationships feel on hold due to personal interaction being reduced.
Although this is a very difficult time for an incredible number of people, the silver lining to this is that a couple of vital facts become painfully obvious: (i) we do not, and cannot, control everything and (ii) most people fear death. These facts are being placed squarely in front of us now on a daily basis. Ultimately, however, this is a good reminder.
This realization of our lack of control can cause incredible fear. But truly, at any given time, we can control very little. Did we have control over our birth? Our location of birth? Our eye color? No. The Bible clearly reveals that we control precious little. Luke 12:25 asks the reader “Can you by worrying become any taller?” Of course the answer is ‘no’ here as well. In Luke 12 the Lord Jesus says “I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” Does this teaching mean that we shouldn’t care about basic needs or working? No. Reading further here we see that the Lord is teaching us about what proper life priorities look like. Jesus goes on to say, “For all these things (food, clothing, etc) the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear little flock…” Jesus is saying that as we follow the Lord in obedience He will provide us with what we need. Sometimes what we actually need are difficult circumstances because it causes us to humble ourselves and to cry out to the Lord. Although tough times are by definition ‘difficult’ and unattractive it is at these times that we can choose to become more teachable and more open to things that truly matter in this life. Perhaps the time to do just that is now--for us and for our nation.
Another fact that has been revealed at this time in our country is that people fear death. If we are honest, we all have feared death at one time or another in our lives. Perhaps you are struggling with that fear of death even today. Not wanting to die is a perfectly understandable desire. You see, the Lord originally created men and women to have an eternal relationship with Him (as described in Genesis 2 and 3) on the earth apart from death. However, because of mankind’s rebellion (‘sin’), death was introduced into the world. Humanity was no longer relying on God for their life supply and our relationship with our Creator was changed dramatically. Death is now ever present. In fact, Scripture (the Bible) says that the consequence is that “death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Sin is the ultimate virus. It is a ‘spiritual’ virus that inflicts the well-being of our soul. It has infected every human being that has walked on this planet. How can we fix this? Can we fix this? Scripture teaches that Jesus was the only one to walk a sinless, holy life. As a result He qualified to be the perfect payment for our sins. You see, a sinful person can’t provide payment for sin. That is why I cannot pay for my sin or for your sin. You cannot pay for mine either. We are not qualified to pay for our sins, because we have sin permeating us. Jesus, by dying for humanity, conquered death and the fear of death, for all those who place their trust in Him. The Bible says that Jesus’ death served to “release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15). Ten out of ten people will physically die. Unfortunately ten out of ten people do not place their faith in Jesus Christ. This ‘eternal life’ that Jesus offers us is a free gift. It is received by trust (faith). The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This gift is not earned or deserved. Our supposed ‘good works’ are not sufficient. The Bible also says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Bible teaches that physical death has no power over anyone who believes in Jesus. This does not mean that Christians won’t physically die. What it does mean is that when Jesus returns to the earth one day all believers will receive a new body that shall never again be destroyed by sin, sickness or death. Consider these verses from the Bible: 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:4; Acts 3:19-23. This could be a timely opportunity for many of us in our nation to seek the Lord. Ponder this and consider your decision.