by Deborah Wade, Hamilton
As I sit here mid-Christmas day, drinking coffee and listening to my service dog next to me devour her Christmas bone, my heart aches by the extreme fear in people that I am witnessing in my community and across the country as 2021 comes to an end.
Only you know what fears you have about the condition of our country right now and how it is affecting you personally. There are those who would proudly declare that they fear nothing; that their life is going great and that it is just as they would have it. To those people, I would say congratulations and I wish you all the best. But the rest of us, including myself, wake up every day and wonder “what’s next?” From the vaccine war raging throughout our land, threatening the loss of many jobs and lively-hoods, unprecedented violence in our neighborhoods, raging inflation, fears for the physical and psychological well-being of our children, fears of losing loved ones, fears of catching Covid and dying – the list goes on and on and on.
Amidst all this chaos it is so important to remember that the Christmas message is that Jesus Christ came, died on a cross, and rose again in 3 days to save all mankind. However, the question must also be asked what that salvation looks like. Many people would say that we choose salvation so that we go to heaven and not hell, and that can be true. But even after we choose salvation, we are not left here on this earth to merely survive. In the salvation that Christ died to give us, we are given victory over every area of our life – including fear. In Christ’s death and resurrection, fear was defeated and in His strength we can give that fear to God. This is not a one-step process: fear is paralyzing, and it wrecks havoc on our minds and our souls. The only way to conquer fear is to give it to Jesus Christ every time we experience it. Fear only answers to Him and through Him, we can be free from the debilitating effect that fear holds in our lives.
To my fellow believers, I would pray that you persevere through this tumultuous time we are in and do not lose sight that we are ultimately in a spiritual battle. It is so easy to be trapped and driven by fear in our lives if we listen to any voices other than God’s voice, no matter how well-intentioned those voices may be. You and I both know that Christians are not promised an easy or trouble-free life after we are saved. What we are promised is that God has given us His strength to walk in faith, to live a life pleasing to Him, and that He has never failed, and will never fail, to provide and care for His children. Fear should not hold any place in our lives. Give Him your fears; trust and lean on Him and He will not fail you.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
To those unbelievers, you have every reason to fear because in your current sinful condition you are lost and condemned. It makes no difference whether you believe in God or not; His existence isn’t determined by your beliefs. He is, He always has been, and He always will be and there is no other God. You will face Him in this lifetime or after your death; either condemned by sin or redeemed by salvation for all eternity. But in this lifetime, you have the opportunity to escape condemnation and accept His free gift of salvation; to experience His grace and freedom from the control of sin in your life and, to live for all eternity with Him. It is not enough to be a good person who does good things; Hell is full of good, well-intentioned people. Christ died for all mankind because we were all born into sin and deserve God’s wrath. You too can have freedom from the debilitating fears in your life by accepting His free gift of salvation.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10