Faith not Fear
Lord of the storm, and the storms in my life, speak Your word to me, “…don’t be afraid.”
Read MATTHEW 24:36-51
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“We fear being sued, finishing last, going broke, and the sound of the clock as it ticks us closer to the grave. What if faith, not fear, was our default reaction to threats?” (Max Lucado).
I often watch repeats of sporting events on television or highlights at the end of the day, when I already know what the result will be—and this changes the way I make sense of it. When things are not going well for the winning team, I can see this as a minor setback, since I know they will win in the end, while every achievement has greater significance, since it is a foretaste of the victory to come!
This is how this passage should shape our perspective on our own lives. The focus here is not on when Jesus will come, but that he will. It is very clear that no one knows the hour (36)—and we certainly cannot work it out—but the fact of Jesus’ coming changes everything. Problems that would be disastrous—prayers unanswered, friends unresponsive, a culture that is increasingly hostile to faith, even persecution—are now mere setbacks, because we know how it will all end. Even the smallest of victories becomes hugely significant, because it is true to the final victory of God over all the powers of darkness.
All this should lead us to faith, not fear. Noah knew what was coming, and he acted in faith in preparation for that day. It was only those who did not listen to God who were taken by surprise and swept away in the flood (39). As it was then, “so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (37). It is those who have not listened and responded who will unexpectedly be taken in judgment, while we welcome the one we have expected to reign over the world that is rightfully his.
For those unaware, Jesus will come as a thief in the night; but for us who wait, he will come as a friend in the day—at an unknown time, but not unexpected.
How does the reality of Jesus’ return affect the way you live? What victories have you experienced recently? How do they strengthen your faith?
Father, I want to envision the day when I trust You more and fear less. Loosen fear’s hold on me. When fear calls to me, may faith answer.