I've been talking to a number of Christians who've said that, due to all the turmoil in the world and what's happening to the economy that they're afraid.
Yes, it is so easy to be afraid.
But this morning, as I glanced through old sermon notes, I came on some really encouraging words from a sermon preached by a visiting pastor while we were living in California.
Here are some highlights:
While the Apostle John was in exile on the island of Patmos, he had a vision. Jesus Christ came to him in order to reveal His message to the Church. First He said,
"Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last."
Years earlier, while John and the other disciples were in their boat, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. The disciples were terrified. But Jesus said almost the same thing, "It is I, do not be afraid."
Jesus's presence and His words reassure believers that everything is going to alright. Jesus holds the keys to Death and Hades. He lives forever and has all power and authority.
Do not be afraid!
God is present wherever you are. . . whatever century or decade, whatever continent or culture.
The ancient Greeks saw life as a circle. The Romans saw life as a continuum.
But Jesus speaks of life as a spiral. Yes, there are cycles of birth, death, renewal. There's "nothing new under the sun."
But this spiral does eventually lead to the Lord's great conclusion.
The "pure in heart" will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
If you are a Believer and living in the Spirit, you will sense God's presence.
While walking in the Spirit, you will have a hungering and a thirsting after God and His ways. You will desire to be like God.
You will hear God's message that, even though times are scary, He is near and He is working out His plan, however mysterious that is.
Your body may be in "Patmos" but your spirit resides with the Lord.
So, Believer, be encouraged. God is in control and He is working out everything (including His plan for your life) according to His great plan.
"Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead and behold I am alive for ever and ever.And I hold the keys of Death and Hades." (Rev. 1:17,18)