614. What Are You Afraid Of?

“Stan,” I said one morning, “what are you afraid of?”

“Not much,” he replied.  “Why do you ask?”

“Just curious,” I replied.  “You afraid of dying?”

“Nope,” Stan said.  “Death is simply the vehicle I will ride from here into God’s eternal presence.  The train, if you will.  My death here is just the beginning of living eternally in God’s presence.”

“How about being sick?  You afraid of that?”

“Not really,” Stan replied.  “I don’t like to be sick, but I have found having to stay in bed while God heals me is a great time to focus more on Him.  Kind of like being given a time for both physical healing and spiritual refreshing.”

“Okay,” I said.  “How about being robbed.  You afraid someone is going to take your stuff?”

“It’s not mine,” Stan replied.  “It’s just on loan from God.  If someone takes it and I need it, God will replace it.”

“Besides,” he continued, “any treasures of value are being held by God in heaven.”

“However,” Stan said, “I can tell you one thing I am concerned about.  Not really afraid, but carefully concerned.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Not being able to hear God say, ‘Well done!’” Stan replied.

“How could that happen?” I asked.

“If who I am, doing what I do, is contrary to God’s will,” Stan said.  “That’s how it can happen. It’s not that I’m afraid of losing my salvation, for that’s not possible, but it sure is possible for me to miss the mark of what God intends for me while He leaves me here.”

“As I said,” he continued, “not afraid of that, but not wanting it to happen.”

“And what do you do about it?” I asked.

“Be a disciple,” Stan replied.  “Give up what I want to do apart from God, do what He has for me to do while I be who He has for me to be, and follow Him wherever He leads, whatever the cost.”

“Sounds pretty simple,” I said.

“It is simple but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” Stan replied.  “Being a disciple is a matter of making a series of continuous choices that can be difficult to make.  I just have to be unafraid to make those choices!”

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In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can mere man do to me?  Psalms 56:4.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  Matthew 14:27.

If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  Luke 9:23.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, I can trust in you and not be afraid.  Thank you there is no reason to fear death because I know death here is merely the vehicle for moving into your eternal presence and I will live with you for eternity.  Thank you there is nothing to fear in what others may do to me, for my trust is in you.  I confess that there may be times when I am afraid.  I give all of that to you and ask you to grant me everything I need to overcome any such fear.  Please help me in following every step of your lead so I am only who you intend doing what you have for me to do so there is no reason to think I will not hear your “Well done!”  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  What, if anything, causes you to be afraid?  Where does such fear come from?  Do you have any fear about dying because you are not certain where you are going when your time here is done?  If so, do you know how to gain the assurance of your eternal salvation by accepting God’s gracious gift of life eternally with Him?  What does living without any fear look like to you?  Is such a life something you would like to have?  If so, and you don’t have it, do you know how to get it?

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