Fear not

download-14

Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened, but in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:14-15

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

There is one thing I have to say about the global crisis that is facing us related to the current coronavirus outbreak that seems to be uppermost in everyone’s mind right now. The most important thing for us as followers of Christ is, yes, to listen to the advice of experts: be wise, be cautious, be safe — all of that is common sense — but more importantly: Do not be afraid.

Fear is one thing that must not be in the heart of a believer. Peter wrote not only to not be frightened, but not to fear what everyone else is fearing. In other words, don’t join the fear parade. There may be a virus epidemic brewing, but there is most definitely a fear epidemic going around, and it’s even more contagious than the virus. Fear is what we must guard against. The virus we can’t do a whole lot about, but the fear, we can. That’s because, as Peter told us, if Christ is in your heart, fear will not be. Jesus and fear do not co-exist. We are either ruled by one or the other.

Fear will kill our message faster than anything. How can we say our faith in Christ is real when we are gripped by fear just like everyone else. A heart full of fear says that fear is more real than Jesus. But if Jesus is Lord of our heart, then Jesus is in control of what happens to us, and we have no need to fear because He will never leave us or forsake us no matter what happens. Jesus puts reality on a different level.

So we have a job to do and a message to proclaim, and that job is simply to not be afraid. The gospel of welcome is far more important than any virus because it holds the answers to life eternal, and grace turned outward continues to be our activity in the world no matter what. Both are greater than any threat to life here on earth. We, therefore, have a major opportunity to display the reality of Christ in our lives. Don’t let fear nullify that.

The opposite of fear is not that everything’s going to be okay; the opposite of fear is that Jesus rules in our heart and works everything out to the perfect will of God the Father. And that’s what we want anyway.

This entry was posted in gospel of welcome, grace turned outward and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Fear not

  1. Gary Mazart says:

    Amen…Amen…and Amen!

  2. Ruth says:

    Beautifully said!

  3. Mark D Seguin says:

    Love this from Today’s Catch: “The gospel of welcome is far more important than any virus because it holds the answers to life eternal,…” Amen!

  4. Being at the “epicenter” in Seattle this Covid-19 outbreak has caused a ridiculous amount of anxiety and hyper-reactions from government officials, the media, and masses of people who are afraid of everything, or those less scrupulous individuals and organizations who would profit and thrive by fomenting fear.

    On the positive side, one of the benefits from this mass hysteria – this herd-instinct – is the fact that travel downtown is much, much easier than it has been in decades and you can pretty much get any table or seat at any of the finer establishments or venues where lines of people would be the norm on a weekend evening.

    This is an opportune to be the calm, reassuring voice of Christ – the Voice of reason – but how does one “reason together’ with another who is filled with media-generated angst and blinded by opportunistic terror… and would have no qualms stealing your toilet paper?!

    As for me, unless rejected by the other person, I intend to continue to shake my well-washed hands with theirs rather than practice “social-distancing”.
    Heck, I may even hug someone today…

    • …Lest anyone should question my understanding of the seriousness of this issue, I myself am in what they call the “at-risk” category so, yes, I know what’s going on. I do recommend we all – whether in Seattle or elsewhere – take necessary precautions and use common sense. But don’t go crazy!
      Wash your hands OFTEN like mom told you when you were a child; and if you have a compromised immune system then you should already know what is best for your personal health and safety.

      But, people, please! Keep calm, do not panic nor go overboard. Be reasonable and think with that brain God gave you. Don’t succumb to all the hype. And, by all means, don’t exacerbate the problem by hoarding supplies, by shunning others, or by contributing to the confusion and tension already spreading around the rest of the planet.

      Life will prevail. Embrace Life.

      Shalom…

      • jwfisch says:

        Good advice. Now if I could just figure out where to put all this extra toilet paper I bought yesterday! (just kidding)

  5. Alma Siemens says:

    Well said. I pray that more people will remind those of us who call ourselves Jesus followers will listen to His words, “Let not you heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Our trust in Him makes the difference.

  6. Mark D Seguin says:

    Pastor John or Marti can either of you please consider replying to the email I sent you both regarding my CA female friend med help…

    Or call I left my phone number in the email…

  7. Markus says:

    A close friend of mine is from Northern Italy. Kind of hard to ‘not fear’ when the whole thing is so personal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.