By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
God wants us to know that He is there for us whenever we need Him. If you are in need of a friend, He will be your closest confidant. If you need some advice, He will be your trusted counselor. If you need protection, He will be your shield. God will strengthen you in the way you need and when you need Him most.
Isaiah 41:9-11 (NIV): I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
Whether you are believer or a nonbeliever, you will face some form of persecution. As a believer, our objective is to only face persecution for Christ’s sake, never from our own misdeeds. The problem does not come from persecution, but from fear to persuading us to trust in something other than God. When your trust in God fades, you start to lean on the security of the world. You start to befriend the strong and vote for the powerful; even though they reflect the traits you should avoid the most.
Proverbs 29:25-26 (ESV): The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.
The apostle Paul encourages Christians to remain faithful to God in the face of persecution. Paul reminds Timothy that Christians do not have a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, love and self-control. Your victory is in the life, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and there is no weapon on this earth that can change that. It is only by us relying on what the world has to offer that can alter our fate.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV): For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
What makes succumbing to fear so damaging is the fact that it requires a person to believe that God is not trustworthy. Whether you do not trust in His will or you trust too much in the will of man, you are leaning too much on your own understanding. When we trust ourselves more than we trust God, we begin to rationalize, justify and compromise our values. Paul wants us to remember that the power of God’s love is all we need, and even if that does not provide what we want here on earth, it will surely be more than we ever dreamed in heaven.