CONQUERING THE FEAR OF DEATH
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
~ Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
Fear of dying is the number one universal fear for human beings. Virtually every fear has a relationship to death and a connection to dying. For example, why are we afraid of flying? The plane may crash and we may die. Here are seven scriptural principles that enable us to conquer our fear of death:
1. God is in control. Read Psalm 91. (Mark 4:35-41; Phil 4:6-7)
2. Focus on fearing God and dying to self. (Acts 5:29; Galatians 2:20)
3. We are strangers and pilgrims on this earth. (Hebrews 10:32+)
4. God always brings good from evil. (Genesis 50:20)
5. The enemy can only harm our body, not our soul. (Matthew 10:28)
6. Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Timothy 2:11-12)
7. There is a crown of life for the faithful to death. (Revelation 2:10)
Co-workers had just finished an SSTS seminar on the island of Timor when a young pastor suddenly jumped up and proclaimed before all his colleagues “Now I am ready to die for Jesus!” These were no idle words. Every single pastor attending the seminar was directly or indirectly impacted by the massacres on the island of Ambon. Many of their churches had been burned and several had lost loved ones in the attacks on Christians.
As the meeting concluded, our colleague saw that young pastor making his way towards him. “Your being here has inspired me to go out and share the gospel in other areas,” he announced.
“I am happy to hear that brother. Where has the Lord called you to?” he enquired.
“My brother, are you sure. This is like signing your own death certificate. You know that most Christians are fleeing the massacre and you want to return?”
His response was simple and without pretense. “If I don’t go back to tell the people about Jesus, who will do it? I am willing to give my life for Jesus!”
RESPONSE: Today I will live prepared to die, and die prepared to live!
PRAYER: When I fear you, Lord, I fear nothing else—even death. Today I pray for those who do not fear You and thus fear everything else—especially death.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.