FAITH OR FEAR
Death is certain, but it isn’t final. Fear of dying and death causes normally rational people do lots of irrational things – like hoard toilet paper and live alone in caves (homes) for who knows how long. But, there’s GOOD NEWS and also a better option – faith. Death is terrifying when viewed from people who live in a place of fear, but death isn’t very scary when viewed through lenses of faith. Because death is a defeated enemy – it has been swallowed up in the victory of GOD’s love, so it has no power, no sting, and nothing to fear any more – unless you live in a position outside of faith.
We are all dying mortals who need a living Savior – Dr. Jim Denison
54 And when the rotting body has been clothed in what can’t decay, and the dying body has been clothed in what can’t die, then this statement in scripture will happen: Death has been swallowed up by a victory. 55Where is your victory, Death? Where is your sting, Death? (56 Death’s sting is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.) 57 Thanks be to God, who gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (CEB)
People who fear dying and death either have never heard such GOOD NEWS, refuse to believe it, or don’t really trust it, for it seems that even people of faith have fallen into the camp of the fearful at this time. Yet fear and faith cannot occupy the same place – as they are in total opposition to one another.
Because…18 Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear. So love is not made perfect in the person who has fear. 1 John 4:18 (ICB)
Death is no longer the punishment for sin, but the promotion of salvation – when we go from mortal to immortal, from partial to complete…if you live by faith, not by sight.
Jesus said…I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33 (AMPC)
Fear sees a problem. Faith sees an opportunity.
Fear cowers. Faith takes courage.
Fear complains, criticizes, and blames. Faith takes action.
Fear sees a giant too big to fight. Faith sees a target too big to miss.
Fear turns to government, medicine, and science. Faith turns to GOD.
We are living in a period of time where many are living in a state of fear – afraid of this enemy virus. Others are living in a state of faith – turning to and trusting in GOD to protect us, provide for us, and grant us His divine favor. This is always the case when dealing with an enemy – some fall back, while others step forward.
Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home.’” And Gideon tested them; twenty-two thousand returned, and ten thousand remained. Judges 7:3(ESV)
23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear…34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”…45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:23-24, 34-37, 45-47a (NIV)
We must allow people to decide for themselves what to do and determine their own level of risk in dealing with this virus. Let the fearful, weak, and vulnerable go home and stay home as it is the right thing for them to do, and let their decision be understood and supported. Let the faithful, courageous, and confident go out to battle and engage in life as they choose, care for those staying at home, build immunities against this virus, and defeat its threat upon our lives and livelihoods.