We are living in a time that is best described with these three words:uncertainty, fear, confusion. The global economy is unraveling and the economic strength that we baby boomers have experienced for most of our lives is now uncertain. The U.S. dollar may lose its standing as the world currency and that standing is all that gives our money value. We can’t depend upon living in the future as we have been able to live in the past. American wealth is under attack and many hearts overflow with fear. People feel the need to prepare but it is impossible to outsmart catastrophe and the result of trying to do so produces confusion.
Uncertainty, fear, and confusion are three components of spiritual darkness. To live in uncertain and fearful times is to live in an atmosphere charged with that darkness. If that same corruption invades our mind and heart, we are without hope in a dark and dying world. When fear governs our choices they are apt to find expression as over reaction to everything that goes bump in the night. This state of darkness reduces adults to children afraid of the dark and all imagined lying under the bed.
Fear is a natural response to that which threatens us. We have no control over our emotional responses but we can learn to choose how we express them. God gave us the response of fear as a signal to prepare to overcome a threat to our lives. Fear rightly placed is a good thing. It is wise to first fear God and know that He is much more powerful than the dark and is in control of everything. This fear is the beginning of hope. Fear with hope is very different from fear without hope. Hope gives us the light we need to negotiate our way through the night and not be overcome by it. Hope assures us of the coming dawn even when there is no visible sign of it. The substance of hope is faith. If our faith is in ourselves, our money, our country, our leaders, or in any other human being, or thing, we have a faulty hope. Everything visible is subject to death and decay and faith in that which we can see produces a hope that also is sure to die. If our hope is to be of a durable substance, it is important to place our faith in that which is eternal.
Jesus knows exactly how we feel when we are afraid to face our future. Jesus knew that God sent Him to be executed on a cross, not for anything He did wrong, but for the sins of all human kind. When the hour of His death drew near, Jesus begged His Father to take it from Him. However, Jesus knew His Father loved Him and He loved His Father in return. Because of this love, Jesus was empowered to face a certain and unjust death. With his eye set on the promise of eternal life that He would gain for us, He fulfilled the mission assigned to Him by God. His faith was of such a durable substance that by His hope, He was able to transcend death. Jesus so loved His Father and He so loved us as to die in our place for all the sins of the human race. The love that enabled Jesus to lay His life down for others is divine love. God is love and that divine love was perfectly expressed when He, in obedience, died on the cross so that others could live.
Jesus died and in three days, He came back to life. God’s love for us was made complete through Jesus’ obedience. It is death that gives fear its power over us but Jesus overcame death. He lives eternally and He gives that same eternal life to all who believe in Him. When we receive the divine love that Jesus demonstrated to us by dying in our place, we are rescued from death and there is no reason to fear. Faith in Jesus is the eternal substance that produces enduring hope. Jesus is the light that enlightens our hearts and minds and enables us to negotiate through the darkest night. Even though we are living in a world engulfed in spiritual darkness, in Jesus we have hope of a new day even where there is no visible sign of its approach. The fear that holds so many in its grip is driven from us by the power of the perfect love of Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus the seat that fear once held in our heart and mind has a new occupant. When Jesus lives in us there is no room for fear without hope as any fearful response causes us to draw closer to Him. When living in uncertain times or facing personal uncertainty, we are no longer prey to fear and hopelessness. No matter the confusion that surrounds us, there is assurity of purpose and a clear mind in Christ. Jesus lives in God and God lives in Jesus and when we are in Jesus, we are secure in the divine love that is God. Jesus is the light and the way to walk through all uncertainty and face all that we fear. Though all around us faint in fear at what appears to be coming upon us, those in Jesus will remain upright and will rejoice together in the coming dawn.