Afghanistan! How can anyone hear that word without thoughts of great fear? One Christian missionary there stated that he believes he is a week, or two at most, away from meeting Jesus face to face. And so it would be natural to feel fear.
What events bring fear into your life? Covid-19? Loss of income? Upcoming surgery? Impending death?
God, speaking through Isaiah, Chapter 41:10, states “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” And the Psalmist says, Psalm 91 verse 3 and following; “[H]e will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.”
On what basis can we rely on these promises from God? When can we be assured that the word of God is a sure thing? We find the answer in Psalm 91, verses 1 and 2: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress. My God, in whom I trust.’”
The word that sums up all of this is “trust” or “faith”: faith that God has forgiven all our sins and has given us life with Him in His eternal kingdom: faith that when we die yet we will live. And this faith is based on believing that Jesus Christ, true God become true man, died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. The wages of sin is death, and we surely deserve that penalty because we are all of us sinners. Not one of us can plead innocence before God. We all deserve that penalty: death. But Jesus paid that penalty for us; Jesus took all our sin upon His body and died for it, that we might be forgiven. And for Jesus’ sake, God the Father does forgive all our sins and promises us life with him when we leave this world. And we receive this wonderful gift from God when we believe it and place our trust and faith in Jesus and His saving act of dying that we might live.
Events in this sinful world do bring us fear. But we need never fear death, because we know a better life awaits us, life with God in His perfect world, where we will enjoy His peace and security for all eternity. And so when we hear of terrible events like Afghanistan, we feel sorrow for those who are suffering terribly there, and we pray that God will give them the strength to endure, even unto death if necessary, that when death comes, life follows. And we pray that God will give us strength that when fearful events come into our lives, we may endure, trusting with faith upon God’s promise that in Jesus and His saving acts for us has also given us that eternal blessing.