Now...here is the greatest confidence-builder of all: the redeemed shall be God’s honored guests at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Consider how that changes our focus from the COVID-19 and other crises to Christ’s conquest of every fear, of which the virus is but a small illustration.
Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” Matthew 5:11. Luke wrote, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” Acts 5:40.
Living close to Jesus, suffering more for Jesus, the apostles gloried in their sorrows!
A key to understanding present-day nations. America leading the way, people are more than ever removing from God, the result being they are weaker than ever before adversity; they more than ever complain of hardships; they more irascibly wonder why IT happens to them. What they never expected, given all their advanced degrees in all disciplines, our sybaritic age more quickly loses confidence when facing troubles. Obviously, using the apostles as our model, the best way to regain confidence in adversity is a return to the faith of the apostolic age. By living publicly for Jesus in the most dramatic way; by preaching his Gospel of repentance to unconverted sinners; by ignoring the price paid to serve, the apostles boldly walked their talk, whatever. And, when trouble came, they rejoiced because of it and through it.
If we don’t want to go that far back, why not return to the faith of our Pilgrim and Puritan fathers? Whatever hardship or loss they experienced in creating a place in the new world, they refused to count the cost by focusing on the gain! It’s for sure we aren’t getting any braver against adversity in our present spiritual unbelief and rebellion.
If we want a modern model, consider the lives of Christ-centered Christians: who understand that we inevitably have trouble in this world; who also know that Jesus overcame the world, whatever its challenges, disappointments, demands and fears. By possessing God’s Holy Spirit we, with Paul, dare to do “everything through him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13. Courageous against the criticism of those who won’t consider Jesus the Only Solution to humanity’s issues, we declare him the Lamb of God, the Root of David and the Lion of Judah, alone all-sufficient for human need. Called to temper our message for a non-confrontational approach to discipleship, we fearlessly declare the hard truths of Christ’s Faith.
Therefore, Christians, tell those you know who are afraid, who wonder what’s coming next, that in the Master’s Presence they also can have inner PEACE by accepting him as Savior and Lord. He wants to love them and give himself for them Galatians 2:20. Since Jesus banished even the fear of death, Hebrews 2:14-15, he left nothing in life that should make them afraid!
Come what may, Jesus Lives, Jesus Forgives, Jesus Overcomes, Jesus Conquers, Jesus fills our minds and hearts with his Awesome Presence. Fearing him, we fear nothing or anyone.