Thursday, May 7, 2015

No Fear

Fear. It seems as if the world runs on fear. A whole industry has evolved that is fed by fear. Organizations on both ends of the political spectrum raise money by appealing to the fear that those at the other end are going to destroy our country. Even Christian organizations use fear as a motive for giving money. The common thread that runs through the billions of dollars that are raised is fear of the future. Fear that things are not going to be good unless you give us money to fight "evil."

Those of us who follow Jesus should not allow ourselves to get wrapped up in fear of the future. In Romans 8, Paul tells us that there are two reasons we shouldn't fear. One is the spirit of adoption we have been given, and the other is the wonderful future that lies ahead of us.

We need not fear because the Creator and King of the universe has given us a spirit of adoption that causes us to call him "Abba," or "Daddy." Think about it. The sovereign God invites us to call him "Daddy." That blows my mind! Think about the most wonderful father you can imagine. Now consider that God is infinitely better, more powerful, more loving than that. If we are children of God, we have a daddy who desperately loves us, who cares about our good, and who is powerful enough to bring our good to pass. Our future is secure because our Father is in control.

So, why do we suffer? I believe that we suffer because Jesus suffered. The early church believed that the suffering of Christ on the cross and his resurrection inaugurated the Kingdom. They saw their own suffering as building for that Kingdom little by little. Paul wrote to the Galatians that his suffering somehow filled up what was missing in Christ's suffering. The church grew in the first three centuries through suffering and bloodshed. Look around the world today and you will see that the church still grows in suffering and bloodshed. It is in the West, where the church has grown comfortable and rich, that there is stagnation. Even so, we here in West do suffer. We may not be persecuted, but we suffer from sickness, disease, heartbreak, death, and sometimes it is hard to see any good in it. I believe even that suffering somehow builds for the Kingdom. There is hope for the future.

Our future as children of the Father is so bright that shades won't do any good. Somehow our future is so wrapped up with the restoration of all things that creation itself is waiting with expectant groaning for our final redemption. The glory that will be revealed in us will make our suffering in this life seem like nothing! Wow! When we come to the end of our rope, we can look ahead to a future that will far surpass the worst we can go through. I don't totally understand all of it, but there have been days when that truth was the only thing I had to hold on to. The good news is we do have that to hold on to in the midst of the worst storm.

Brothers and sisters, take heart! Your Abba loves you with an infinite love that will never let you go. Your suffering is being used by God to bring his Kingdom to bear in this life. Nothing that this life throws at you can ever prevent the glory of God from being revealed in you when the final restoration of all things comes to pass. Fear not.


Unknown said...

I have learn to remain humble and thankful. Boastful spirits are unable to see where change & growth are needed. Being humble is the key!. See the link below for more info.


Marshae said...

Yes, another person who likes to call God, Daddy. Thats how I see him and I agree wtih you as well. It is mind blowing to have him see us as His children. It was this thought that got me out of fear. My earthly father went over and beyond to make sure I had absolutly everything I wanted and I watched as he provided and protected and took care of his family. Because of this, I know God does way more than my earthly dad did. So I know I don't have to be in fear. As a new Christian, it was fear of money but once I got more revelation of God being my Daddy and knowing how my earthly daddy always provided me with money, that fear with out the door so fast, wasn't even funny. So thank you for sharing because I can totally relate!

Fred Shope said...

Marshae, glad you could relate. Realizing that God is my Abba made a huge difference in my life as well. God bless you!

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