By John Lysaught –
Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
There is a great amount of anxiety floating around. We are seeing the world falling apart in front of our eyes. When we don’t think people and society can get any worse, they do. This can create fear in the hearts and minds of believers. It begs the question of why? Why are some fearing the inevitable? These things we are witnessing at an exponential pace must pass as we await being taken up to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus.
I looked up the definition of fear, and it says that fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” I fear intruders in the house. I fear for my daughter when she drives 25 miles to school every day on the highway. I don’t fear what is happening as is written in the Word as we come to the end of our time on Earth, but many do.
They are anxious about the coming end. They feel the impending doom over their heads and fear what is happening. Why? We need not have fear of what is coming. We don’t need to because God is with us, always. He will never abandon us nor will he forsake us ever, yes, even in these last days. Will our faith be tried and pressured? Yes, because that is what Satan wants – he wants us to fear because fear will drive a wedge in our relationship with Christ.
Fear creates two responses in us. We’ve all heard the term “fight or flight,” and fear will cause us to do one of these two actions. We will stand our ground or we will run away. Believers need to take the action of the former. The latter is what Satan wants. He doesn’t want us to stand against him and his ways; Satan wants us to run away and hide and leave our Lord in the rearview mirror of our lives.
Proverbs 29:25 tells us that, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.”
Fear will make us trip and fall and can cause us to freeze up and run away. Some won’t feel safe and assured in their lives – mind and spirit, but will seek to avoid the things that scare them. This does not need to be so because, if there is trust in the Lord as Proverbs 29:25 says, we “shall be safe.”
We are under the umbrella of God’s protection. Will bad things happen to us? Of course! We are not immune from the ills of man or society; but we need not fear in this life because, as believers, we know where we are going in death or in rapture. We will be with the Lord, not in some abyss or in hell, or nonexistent. We will be with our Lord and Savior in Heaven
Psalm 56:3-4 tells us, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
A lot of the fear believers face is what will happen to them in these last days, what man will or may do to them as believers. The words that come to mind are “marginalization” and “persecution.”
The marginalization of Christians in western society is real and true and happening even as I write. Society and government are bending over backwards to appease everything and everyone opposed to biblical truth. They want to push Christians out of the way for their idea of a utopian society that does not have a hint of Christianity in it, but to worship only man and what man creates as right or wrong.
Society does this by creating fear in Christians that if they don’t play ball with their evil and detestable ideals, they will be left to the wayside of life. I say great! I’d rather be hated for the truth than walk in fear of the repercussions of Satan and the society he has molded for his evil ways.
The biggest fear of some, though, is being persecuted. Though not on the mainstream media, there are persecutions, real and tangible physical persecutions of Christians in the world. They are being killed and their churches destroyed; and if they are not murdered, they are fleeing their homes to escape the persecution.
Some believers fear this will happen to us in the west. And, you know what? It is in Europe. Churches are being destroyed and believers are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. Will this continue to happen and grow and spread to other western countries? Yes, I believe it will. It is at each country’s doorstep if not already happening.
How do we deal with this fear? Trust the Lord. Look at the early church and those that faced severe persecution. Take the Apostle Paul for example. He was imprisoned and martyred for his faith. He trusted the Lord and the Lord’s will for his ministry and his life. He did die for our faith, but I don’t recall him being scared mentioned in the Bible, but he continued to be bold and write letters to the church to encourage them to be strong and have faith and not to fear.
Paul’s example should be our example today. We need not fear what will happen, or what will happen to us, but hold strong to our faith and trust in Christ Jesus. Will we be marginalized, persecuted, and pushed around for our beliefs? Yes. Will it grow in intensity as we get closer to the rapture? Yes. Will we go to Heaven if we are martyred before the rapture? Yes. Will believers be raptured before the tribulation? Yes. Will we still suffer until then? Yes. But we have Christ with us and for us; and no matter what happens to us before we are taken, we need not fear but stand strong and bold in our faith.