There is a lot going on in our world today and we can experience a gamut of emotions from one minute to the next. I can turn on the TV and find myself laughing one minute, then flip the channel and become furious. (I won’t mention which channel). The thing is, we don’t have to let our emotions run our lives. The enemy likes to use our negative emotions to control us, but we can certainly keep him from getting the upper hand.
Since Covid-19 came on the scene, I have seen a few friends and family members paralyzed by fear, while other friends and family members seem unconcerned, or ambivalent. Don’t get me wrong, I know Covid is real. I know people have died, and I’m extremely sorry about that. I know people who have had it and became very sick and uncomfortable. I hate that too, and I pray for all who have lost loved ones to it, and all who become sick with it.
But, I also know that Satan uses fear to control us and to keep us from moving forward into the plans God has for us. As, I was thinking about those in my circle of friends who suffer tremendously from fear (over most anything) it always seems to be those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ.
You can learn a lot about a person, or group of persons just by listening to them talk. What does their speech tell you? Do they speak negativity, or do they speak words of positivity and hope? Is everything doom and gloom, or is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Do they seem to only see the worst in people, never having anything positive to say about them, or do they look for the good in people?
Do they seek to forgive the wrongs of others, and realize that all of us have flaws, or do they try to remove a speck of dust from another’s eye with a pitchfork? Do they fear death or look forward to a life free from pain and sorrow in an indescribable paradise with Jesus, the One who laid down His life for us?
It seems to me that those who thrive on negativity and feel like all hope is lost are typically overcome with fear. Those who focus on the here and now, and are deceived by the hatred and hopelessness of those who only seek to spread negativity, soon begin to imitate what they see and hear—fear and negativity.
Those who would rather stomp out Christianity, and live their lives in direct disobedience to the Word of God are not happy just to do their own thing. Why must they attempt to stop Christians from living their lives in the way the Bible instructs us? It’s because misery loves company.
And, because they have lost all hope, they hate us for having hope. When hope has been eradicated, only fear remains. But for the Christian who has put his or her hope in Jesus, it cannot be taken away from us. We live for something greater than our own wants and desires. We live for a Savior Who loves us, and knows us, and has numbered our days.
We don’t have to obsess about when that day will come, or live in fear of it because we know we will be with Him. And, when we have done all we can to make sure our friends and family know Jesus as their Savior, we can also rest in the fact that we will see them again in eternity as well.
I think Paul said it best.
“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.”
(Philippians 1:21-24 NLT)
Paul had no fear of death. His love for Christ, and the purpose he had been called to, was far greater than any fear he could ever face. He desired to be home with Jesus! This was his greatest and highest goal. His eyes were fixed on the path Jesus had called him to. His trust was grounded in the knowledge that when he had accomplished all he was called to do here on earth, he would join Jesus for all eternity.
Paul knew his purpose. He knew his mission, and he refused to lose hope in his future. He was unmovable, and resistant to the enemies attempts to cause fear.
What do we have our eyes fixed upon? Do we know our purpose? Are we stuck in a repetitious loop of negativity? Have we lost our hope?
Or have we fixed our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith? Are we living a life filled with hope and longing to be with Jesus in our heavenly home, yet still focused on what He has called us to do in the meantime? Are we living a life in submission to Christ Jesus, or in submission to our fears?
Where have you placed your hope?
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6 NLT)
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.