By: Rev. Jordan Bernard, pastor of York ARP Church
Fear is something that is not new to us. We are all scared of something. I cannot stand snakes. To me, the only good snake is a dead one. To you, you may be afraid of something else. Heights, spiders, enclosed spaces. We are all scared of something.
However, I believe that there are many fears that are shared in the times we live in. We are all worried about the pandemic and when it will be over. In the current political climate, we are scared of what may happen depending on the results. As a church, we are worried how we are going to continue to grow and minister during these diﬃcult times. If we aren’t careful, that fear begins to take over. We become nervous wrecks, and our anxiety goes through the roof. Yet, we have no reason to fear.
As Christians, we can remain calm and content. Unlike the world, our faith reminds us of how great our God is, and we can put our trust in Him during the most overwhelming moments because we know that He can do the impossible. Take for example, the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abendnego in the fiery furnace. Here, you have three men whose faith in God conquers fear. Nebuchadnezzar had made this giant image and required everyone to bow down before it. If they did not, they would be cast into a fiery furnace. Out of fear, many bowed down, but these three men did not. Their faith in God outweighed their fear of the king, and so must our faith.
When we are faced with hardship and pain in life, we need to remember that our God is greater. We do not have a little God. We have a God who can do all things. In Luke 1:37, we are told that “nothing will be impossible with God.” He can part the Red Sea.
He can make the sun stand still. He can calm a storm. He can save sinners like us from our sins. He can do all things, and we can have faith that our God is able. Staring death in the face, these three men knew that their God “is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace” (Dan. 3:17). We, too, can know our God is able to deliver us from whatever calamity comes our way.
We know that our God can make Covid-19 disappear. We know that our God can turn our country back to Him. We know that our God is able to provide healing, help, and peace, and so our faith helps us to not give into fear but to trust Him. Yet, our faith does not stop there.
Even if God does not answer our prayers in the way we wish, our faith still enables us to lean upon Him. I love this verse here because Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego understand this. They know that God is able to save them, but even if He doesn’t, they will not serve the gods of worship the golden image Nebuchadnezzar had set up(Daniel 3:17).
We don’t just have faith if things go our way. Many people become discouraged and disheartened when bad things happen. We trust God can heal, but the cancer is still there. We know that God can get rid of the pandemic, but it continues to spread. We don’t get the job we want. Our church doesn’t grow. There are so many times in life that our prayers don’t turn out the way we want and we are tempted to give up. However, our faith in God should remain steadfast despite what may happen just like these three men here, because we know as Romans 8:28 that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. No matter what may be going on if our lives we can know that nothing can separate us from God’s love. When we are faced with pressure, with pain, even with death, we who have put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have nothing to fear. Our God is able to deliver us from whatever it is we are going through, but even if He doesn’t, we have no need to fear for He has already delivered us by His precious blood.
Yes, God did end up delivering these three men from the fiery furnace, and He is able to get us though what we are going through now. Even if He doesn’t, we can still stand firm in our faith because we can know that our God has secured us as His own, and nothing in this world can take that away. May we all see this example of fearless faith, and may we pray that God will help us to have a fearless faith too.