“What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me” (Job 3:25). Job, a magnificent man of faith, allowed one particular fear pertaining to his children to consume his thought process. Job was extremely devoted to the Lord, and his faith (as we would later learn while hearing his story) was steadfast and solid. However, even with his unwavering faith in God, Job allowed a fear (the behavior of his children when not in his presence) to fester in his mind to the point where he thought of the consequence that would be bestowed upon him by God had these fears been actuality. When calamity struck in his life, Job conceded that his initial unnecessary fear was what brought tragic turmoil in his life. The God of the universe never promises that our lives will be without obstacles and extreme circumstances. The Bible actually states that on Christ’s behalf we are to “not only believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him” (Philippians 1:29). All must understand that there is a distinct difference between suffering and fear. These two often seem to be confused. Major aspects of suffering for Christ have to do with sacrifice and denial of our inherited sinful nature as well as dealing with the rest of the world’s reaction to us as we express our Christian faith. Fear is derived from either internal or external influences. Fear is the exact opposite of peace, and peace of mind and spirit is one of the qualities that Jesus promises for all of His followers. Upon seeing their Savior for the first time after His resurrection, the disciples were experiencing a mixture of emotions—awe, confusion and earthly fear. Jesus responded to them (as the angel said to the women at the tomb), “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:10). Difficulties in life happen. The stance of our mind and spirit before, during, and after the difficulties should be what separates us as Christians from the rest of society. Our responsibility is to entice the rest of the world by how we respond to every situation while rebuking fear. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Pastor John Bailey