Fear Not!

 

How would you describe the times that we are living in? Would you say they are interesting or challenging times or, maybe, exceptional times? We are living in a different season, that's for sure. I maybe repeating myself, but we have never lived in lockdown in my generation. We may not have realised it; yet, we have changed and adapted more than we may think.

Daniel is one of the most exciting people in the Old Testament. There are so many good stories to tell to our children. One of them is found in the book of Daniel, chapter 6. The story when he was thrown into the lion's den. He suffered such punishment because he went against the King decree that banned anyone from worshipping any deity other than the King. The King was deceived by a jealous official that wanted Daniel to disappear forever.

The story seems a terribly sad one. Daniel's future was at the mercy of the most efficient predator. There is a reason that lions are called the 'King of the Jungle'. I wonder how I would have acted in such a situation? I can't imagine I would have remained as calm as Daniel. He maintained his focus on God and trusted his future to the Lord's hand.

Daniel taught us three lessons that we can live by:

1. No compromise, and total obedience to God whatever the cost (Daniel 6:10-12)

Fear may stop us from doing what it is right in God's eyes. Do you remember the news report of a nurse, Shirley Chaplin, who lost her job because she wore a cross? She was a member at Christ church Exeter, our sister FCE church. Daniel and Shirley Chaplin knew the consequences of their actions; still, they did not compromise their faith in God. Their belief in the Lord was not silenced by the decrees of the world.

We may not be able to meet all together at the moment, but it does not stop us being the church of Christ. Our voice should not be silent, neither our faith kept quiet. Let us speak out for Jesus in our sphere of influence. It may be as simple as wearing a cross, or just sharing bible verses on Facebook or Instagram. Let us share the good news and pray for the seeds to grow in due time.

2. His faith didn't change, even when the threats became a reality (Daniel 6:16-17)

The King wanted to save Daniel; however, he still ended up in the lion's den. Daniel appeared to be at peace. It is time to begin to raise our faith regardless of our circumstances. "Faith over fear" means we serve the Mighty God. He has a fantastic record of changing situations when we least expect.

3. Daniel trusted in God (Daniel 6:18-23)

I think we should ask ourselves where it is our trust? Where do we find comfort? What is our focus? Our God is capable of doing the unthinkable. He closed the lions' mouth. Daniel was not even marked by them. That's the amazing love of God. That's the Lord we serve. He just wants us to trust and follow Him. He will care for us.

My dear brothers and sisters, faith does not mean we don't feel fear, nor is it the absence of fear. It is a clear resolution to push on despite fear. It is a choice to follow faith over fear. I invite you to make a choice today—a choice that requires a first step, then another step. Allow faith to speak louder than fear in your life. Let us lift up our shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) to overcome fear.

Remember, God is in control. Psalm 121:4 reminds us that the God who watches over Israel (and us) neither sleeps nor rests. He loves you, and the Lord is by your side, right now.

Every blessing,

Bishop Josep Rossello





Pages