July 30, 2014

Fearful or Fearless?

“The powers of the heavens will be shaken, and people’s hearts will fail them for fear, anticipating the calamities that are destined for this world.” –Jesus

By nature I am a timid man. That is a polite way of saying I’m a coward. There are vivid memories – still painful – of moments when, in front of family and friends, I exhibited paralyzing fear.

I am not proud of those moments; in fact, you could say I loathe them…

There are, however, other moments in my journey through time when I demonstrated a degree of courage.

Clearly I like Richard the LyonHeart much more than Charlie the Cowardly Lyon.

In talking to business owners everyday I’ve seen a clear emotional progression after the last election from stunned disbelief (the USA actually re-hired this administration?!), to frustration & anger (greater uncertainty over the impact of new regulations and taxes), to a fear gripping hearts (no significant opposition to the lawless disregard for the rule of law).

Historically, the prevailing spiritual influence on America is Christianity. Christianity is not nearly as much about doctrinal beliefs as it is trust in a Living Leader whose own life and character defines the life and character of his followers, thus defining the character of individuals, families, communities and country.

If there were one single character quality for which followers of Jesus are persecuted, I believe it is courage, or at least our potential to be courageous when it counts most. Fear makes people vulnerable and easily manipulated. Those who would control the masses know that fear factors powerfully in managing behavior. But believers, trained in truth and trust, are not easily manipulated by hysterical cries of impending doom. “I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I’ve entrusted to Him…” is a life strengthening motto!

Jesus’ most dire warning to his followers is that during times of great difficulty, when evil increases, the love of people grows cold. The cords of Love & Courage are inextricably woven into the fabric of Jesus’ life and it’s tensile strength in the hearts of His followers is tested most severely in times of trial.

To say “We have no King but Jesus!” is not only a declaration of allegiance but a beacon of hope to those whose hearts would fail them in calamity.

“There is no fear in love” fearlessly declares the beloved disciple. “Perfect Love casts out fear.” Let us give ourselves to His perfecting love every minute of every day that we may share in the company of the courageous, confident we can withstand the worst the world has to try to scare us into submission.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

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