“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Recently I watched a documentary on how human beings are affected as a result of illnesses caused by parasites. One woman became so ill she had to be hospitalized for an extended period of time. When interviewed upon recovery, she commented that her greatest fear during the experience was that she would die. An interesting observation considering the fact that death is an inevitable part of life. I may be one of the few who is resigned to the reality of death having lost my mum and several other close members of my family to the grim reaper over the years. There is just no getting away from answering that call, yet so many of us live our lives in fear of having to die. But why is this so? Maybe we need to reflect a little more on why we are afraid because as World Wresting Entertainment (WWE) legend Steve Austin said: “Sometimes the fear of the hit is worse than the hit itself.”
Fear according to the Oxford Dictionary is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. It can also refer to the likelihood of something unwelcome happening. So let’s look then at the best example of someone who knew not only when, how and where they were going to die, but also who would be responsible for their death. What a great burden the knowledge of this ‘unwelcome happening’ must have been! Would you have had the strength to live your life to the fullest in the face of all this information? Wouldn’t you be tempted to ask God to please change His mind? Well Jesus did ask His Father in Luke 22:42 to consider removing such a painful cup, but not out of fear because we all know that He was more than willing to accept God’s decision. Jesus’ prayer was more of a plea for strength: strength to see His mission through to the end and not fall into the temptation of taking the easy way out.
In their greatest moments of fear, God and/or His angles have told His people all throughout the bible: “Do not be afraid!” Let us not be afraid of unemployment, debt, broken relationships, terminal illnesses, demanding employers, unethical pastors or yes, death – because our God is with us! There is no other like Him in this whole entire world, so be encouraged today. Put your fears to rest once and for all, and enjoy your life to the fullest because there is nothing to fear except fear itself.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4 (NIV)