STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

FEAR OF DEATH
=============
There
is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has
to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John
4:18

Satan uses and plays on one of the basic elements and
instincts of our
nature—fear. It is natural for finite man to fear—especially
the fear of the
unknown, the fear of being hurt and the fear of death. There
is nothing more
Satan would like than to see us paralyzed with fear just like
King Saul when
facing the Philistines and Goliath.

Why do we allow
fear to be so controlling? On the one hand, we have past
experiences that we
don’t want to relive and on the other hand, we are very
hesitant about what
might lay ahead. But often the events and situations
creating most fear in
people have no basis in reality.

All fear is based on perception. Thus
fear has been described in the English
language as an acronym for “False
Evidence Appearing Real.” If we could
consciously remember this, it would
help us to allay many fears. But that
false evidence sometimes is so
convincing! However, we must always realize
that dread and fear—like other
tactics of the enemy—are based on a lie. This
is why throughout the
scriptures we are repeatedly commanded—366 times—to
“fear not.” It is
intensely liberating for our witness when we personally
overcome the fear of death. This allows us to focus on Christ and His kingdom.

Living as a
Christian under Romania’s dictatorship posed extreme difficulties
and
dangers. Even though Rev. Joseph Tson had counted the cost and served
the
Lord and His flock faithfully, he feared the day that he would be called
in by
security. He knew the possibility of facing death was
inevitable.

The day that Joseph feared arrived. Security officers arrived
at his home one
day and took him to their headquarters. He was instructed to
sit on a chair
and a gun was put to his head. “The choice is easy,” came the
commander’s
voice. “Deny Jesus or we pull the trigger.”

This was
indeed the moment that Joseph feared all through his ministry. But
suddenly
the Spirit of the Lord filled his whole being. “If you kill me today
you will
do me a great favor. All my sermons that were recorded will be in
great
demand because I will be a martyr for Christ. You will help me greatly
to
share my messages. You will also help me to go to my Lord quickly!”
Joseph
fearlessly replied.

The officer dropped the gun. “You
Christians are crazy,” he shouted and then
commanded the officers to take
Joseph back home.

Joseph’s life was spared but in a sense he lost it that
day. “Never again did
I fear what man can do to me. Never again did I fear to
lose my life,” Joseph
concluded.

RESPONSE: Today I will not allow
Satan’s favorite tactic of fear and
intimidation to conquer me in any
way.

PRAYER: Lord, enable me to overcome the fear of physical death as I
realize
that I am already dead to myself in You. May this be true today too
for
believers in conflict zones of our world.

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