A. W. Tozer once wrote: “If we understand that everything happening to us is to make us more Christlike, it will solve a great deal of anxiety in our lives.”
The Bible tells us not to fear about 365 times, once for every day in our year. The world is full of fear today due to Covid, political unrest, war, famine, natural disasters, and more. We often get stuck spending the bulk of our time staring at the circumstances in our lives and the fear that our media, the internet, and other companies are trying to sell us. The world is not without its problems and every generation of man since the beginning of the world has struggled with fear of some kind. God tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that He did not give us fear; He gave us power, love, and a sound mind.
As Proverbs tells us, we don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we do know the One who holds our tomorrow. God instructs us through His Word not to watch the world, not to fear man, and not to get stuck in your circumstances. Instead, search out the truth in Scripture, watch for His coming, and be courageous!
Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
This year we have a theme: “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.” Love drowns out fear, it destroys hostility, and it brings peace. Jesus Christ is our greatest example of love. If Jesus can love us even when we were His enemies, we can learn to love in the same manner.
1 John 4:17-21: “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
We need to remember that as Christians, this world is not our final destination. There will be things that change and things that will disappoint us. But this is just a temporary stop before an eternity of peace and joy. We need to make the limited time we have here on earth important for accomplishing God’s work. When we focus on the disappointments of our lives, we tend to get caught up on what we want instead of remembering that we are here for God’s purpose not our own.
I remember when I was younger, we would often take family vacations that involved long drives for hours at a time. I always enjoyed the break when we made a pit stop at a “rest area.” But sometimes, knowing how much farther the journey was, I didn’t want to get back on the road.
God is our best support during these times of trial. He has promised in Deuteronomy 31:6 to never leave us, or forsake us. But let’s not forget that this short time on our journey is for His purpose, not ours. When we take a break from our journey and decide not to get back on the road, we take our eyes off of God and what He wants for our lives instead of trusting in Him. If we really do put our trust in Him, then we need to follow through with that trust and keep our eyes fixed on His plan and His purpose over our own.
I do not know what tomorrow holds but I continue to pray for the courage, strength, and endurance to face it, and I know that if you continue to put your trust in Christ, He will see you through His plan, perfectly.
Written by Pastor Geoffrey Stiekes