“. . . and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:15)
On the old TV series “The A-Team” there was an episode where the A-Team had been trapped in a building by people who wanted to destroy them. A news reporter was trapped along with them, and when she asked what they would do next, they told her they were ready to die, and that their willingness to die was what gave them an advantage over their enemies. Of course the A-Team survived to fight another day.
What can truly hold you in bondage to fear if you are not afraid to die?
I’m not trying to be morbid. It is a reasonable question. If we truly comprehend what Jesus did for us on the cross, how He overcame hell, death, and the grave, then we should be encouraged, and not be held in bondage to fear. Not because of what we can do–but because of what He has already done for us–and can do through us.
I’m a far from perfect human being, but I do not fear death. There have been times in my life when it looked like I might die. Once I was bleeding so bad the nurses described me as “bleeding like a stuck pig”–how is that for a description of your medical condition? I do not fear death because I have faced it and and was ready to die. Indeed, I was so worn and weary I welcomed it, but it was not my time yet. I have no “death wish” and I would like to live to one-hundred years old just to spite the devil, but I’ll never live in fear of death again.
I think it is easy to die, but what is truly challenging is to live with an affliction, with pain and suffering and hardship that does not go away. The true heroes are not only those who die bravely, but especially those who live bravely, who face death, who live with disease, who live with long days of mourning–those are special heroes. . . heroes indeed.
Your life may not be everything you hoped it would be. You may be engulfed with disappointment and suffering. It may be a challenge simply to live from day to day. I’m not going to give you a “cotton candy” message saying tomorrow will be all sunshine and butterflies, tomorrow may be another challenging day.
But I will tell you that we serve a Lord who suffered much on our behalf. And we have a God who cared enough to send Jesus to make a way for us, and He has delivered us from the fear of death, we need no longer be its slaves. He did this not so we would live as victims of fear, but victors over every fear that assaults us.
He is our Deliverer, and He loves us in the midst of our pain and suffering. He is our comfort and hope.
If you take nothing else away from this message, please take this:If the enemy is holding the threat and fear of death over your head, if he is worrying you over some flare-up or new affliction, point a finger to the sky and utter one word, “Jesus.” Our Lord has already defeated satan, death, hell, and the grave, and we are the recipients of that victory.
Do not despair of life, for you have eternal life abiding within you if you are a child of God. And God does not want you to live in defeat, nor in slavery to fear. Receive the goodness of God in this life, and do not fear what comes after, for we have a Lord awaiting us.
If you feel yourself weighed down by dread and fear, the best thing you can do is look up. Look up and remind yourself of what has already been done for you, and fear not.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when fear tries to bind us with worry and dread, encourage us by Your Spirit, for You have overcome fear. Overcome the fear in our lives as well. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He knows what it is to be subject to fear, and to be free of fear, all through God’s grace.
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Do you sometimes feel like fear has you bound? Have you ever reminded yourself that because of Christ we need not be slaves to fear?