Turn on the news and you’re bound to hear something absolutely terrifying. The fear of another new war is being discussed every day. The potential for the Ebola virus to spread worldwide has many carefully monitoring the spread of the disease. More local threats like the loss of free speech against homosexuality and the continuing decline of godliness in America leave us wondering where everything is going. But, amid all of this, it seems we’re forgetting a few things.
Each of these leads us to worry in some way. We worry about the safety of our families and friends. We worry about our health. We worry about our rights, and we worry that if we speak up for God we might be labeled as hateful or bigoted and become shunned by those around us. This constant worry for our physical comfort and apprehension of evangelizing in a perverse generation are exactly the opposite of what Christians should have in their lives. What makes the Christian special isn’t the ability to operate in times of comfort and ease. Anyone can do that. Instead, we must remember that by the blood of Christ we’ve been given the confidence to stand up in times of turmoil and show the world that we are unafraid of the worst they can do to us. Here are three points that every Christian should remember in the midst of such troubling times.
1. We’re forgetting that we’re not of this world
When we worry about the physical threats to our health and safety in the world, we ignore Jesus’ exhortation in Matthew 6 that we should not worry about the things of this world. We also fail to follow the model Paul left when, writing from prison, he remarked that for him, “To live is Christ but to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). The worst this world can do to us is kill us – thereby sending us to spend eternity with our Father in heaven! We should walk in confidence knowing that if we live we shine His light and if we die we enter into our reward.
2. We’re forgetting that Jesus said the world would hate us
Jesus left His followers with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8), knowing full well that He was sending them into a world that would imprison them, beat them, and kill them. In fact, He warned them that such would happen while He was still alive. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). The world hated Jesus. The world put Him to death. He didn’t back down. Just because our government or those around us want to silence Christians who preach against the sins of our generation doesn’t mean we should back down or be crippled by fear.
3. We’re forgetting that He’s already won the battle
When we worry about what’s going to happen to us in this world we forget one of the most comforting passages in the entire Bible. In 1 John 5, John reminds His readers that the battle is already over. We don’t need to worry about the outcome. “And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4b-5). When we worry we lose that faith that has already overcome the world. We know Him who is in control of it all. Why worry?
Instead of getting so caught up in the negativity of everything going on around us, let’s purpose to remind people of those good things that will always be with us – God’s love and patience toward us. Don’t get me wrong, we need to be in tune with what’s going on in the world around us and we need to act accordingly, but with all of our worry we deny that we have a God we can trust. Everybody worries, but a Christian who shows the world they aren’t scared anymore because they have their eyes fixed on Jesus is the kind of light the world needs.
By Jack Wilkie