SHUN FEAR AND COURAGEOUSLY PRESS ON
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
~ 1 Peter 3:14 (NIV)
One of the major tactics of Satan is to use difficult situations to create fear in us and thus immobilize our witness. For example, during the 9/11 attack in USA, Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry were being held in a prison in Afghanistan. In an interview with Christianity Today magazine on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Heather Mercer said, “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. God sent me to prison to set me free. I don’t think I realized how much fear I actually had in my life until I had to confront some of my deepest, darkest fears. When I first set out to go to Afghanistan, I knew it might cost me my life to reach Muslims with the love of Jesus. Then I had this opportunity to face that fear of, ‘What would I do if someone tried to kill me for sharing the gospel?’ God made Himself known in such a profound way that now, what do I have to fear?”
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), Wycliffe’s Sue Ambrose was out for a walk on February 4th, 2009. She was talking to the Lord about people, issues and life. As she continued her walk, she read memory verses from three Gospels that say, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
The slapping sound of bare feet running on packed earth causes her to turn around to see a crazed PNG man charge her with a large machete-like knife raised murderously above his head. After a quick altercation and feeling as though she was dying, Sue was rushed to the medical clinic where friends and co-workers were shocked to see her in such grave condition: many abrasions; a damaged hand; a puncture wound near the sternum just below the diaphragm and lungs; and the knife still stuck fast in her hip.
Sue was remarkably calm through the process and felt no pain. Once stabilized, she was transferred to medical facilities in Australia. While in hospital, God gave Sue a clear vision of an angel, “A big warrior kind of guy that was eight or ten feet tall with his sword raised, saying, ‘No, that is enough! I am not going to let you kill her.’” Sue says, “That really opened my eyes to the whole spiritual realm; that this man was part of Satan’s attacks on us, on the training center and on the work of SIL.”
Two and a half weeks after being air-lifted out of the country, Sue returned to her ministry in PNG. The Wycliffe magazine, Word Alive reported: That seemingly simple act proves to be a strong counterstrike to the enemy—a living sermon calling others to shun fear and courageously press on in their respective callings. “I don’t think that I ever considered not going back,” says Sue. “God has given us the strength to return and it has spoken volumes to people.” Sue models an attitude that we all must grasp, the article concluded. Let fear not rule!
RESPONSE: Today I will not allow the enemy to use the tactic of fear against me.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the wonderful examples of fearlessness shown by Your people today.
2. Craig Pulsifer, “Let Fear Not Rule,” Word Alive (Wycliffe Bible Translators, Fall 2011), pp. 33-37.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.