When I Am Afraid

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

Psalm 56.3

 

We are living in a day of fear. COVID fears consume many; some Christians are so exercised about it that they divide from other Christians who feel differently than they do. There are fears of the encroachment of evil into our society, the open endorsement of what God condemns. Many Americans are fearing the loss of freedoms enshrined in the founding of this country.

In recent days, we’ve watched in horror as our nation has abandoned thousands in Afghanistan to a tragic future at the hands of the Taliban. Fears are rising around the world that Iran, North Korea, China, and other nations will fill the power vacuum and extend their dreadful misery on millions of people in smaller nations. Amir Tsafarti observed recently that the world has changed, just as it did after the fall of the Berlin Wall. What the future holds is anyone’s guess. We are suddenly adrift on a sea of uncertainty.

Some will scoff at ‘conspiracy theories’ of impending doom, but if history teaches us anything, it is not to take the future for granted. Read Daniel 5. Babylon, the “impregnable” power of the ancient world, was felled in one night. The world changed. Our world can, too. America certainly has no claim to God’s goodness. Blessed with a Christian foundation unique in world history, we flaunted God’s truth and morals, aggressively marketing in evil. Paul’s words in Romans 1.32 are truer of America than any other nation:

…although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Will God continue to extend mercy to us? Time will tell. But one thing for sure: This is not a time to shrink back. On the threshold of Nero’s ghastly persecution of the early church, Paul wrote first-century believers that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1.7). These are days to stand strong for capital-T ‘Truth’ – and lather it with the love and grace God offers to all who believe in Jesus.

Are hard times ahead? Yes. Already, our brothers and sisters in Christ in China, North Korea, Sudan, Turkey, Nigeria, Iran, and many other countries (and we can now add Afghanistan to that list) are experiencing the fires of persecution. Why should it be any different for us? The question is, How will we respond?

When David’s life was in danger in Gath, he cried out to God. He was afraid, but he knew where – or Who – to turn to: In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust (Ps. 56.4). The more David recognized God as the omnipotent Creator and ‘King of the universe,’ the less he feared earthly dangers. Twice in this psalm, he declares, “What can man do to me?” To put that the way the Apostle Paul did, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8.31)

Yes, our nation, and our world, are rushing toward destruction and away from God as fast it can. But as we face an uncertain future, we do so with our loving God, and nothing can separate us from Him. When you are afraid, put your trust in Him.

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