December 6, 2017

Do not fear

By: Larry Shaffer

Here’s a new addition to our front yard in our Texas hill country home. We are grateful for those who have fought and served to protect our freedom. God bless America!

Do not fear

Revelation 2:8-11

This is the letter to the persecuted church in Smyrna. Smyrna was an educational center of science and medicine in Asia Minor. Just like university cities in the US that tend to be liberal and anti-Christian, Smyrna had a strong disdain for the church. The Jews that rejected the Messiah joined the pagans in their focus to persecute the Christians. Oddly, the most persecuted church of these seven in Revelation is the purest….and “although poor, they are rich“, v9. Note the phrase “DO NOT FEAR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SUFFER” v10. To me that’s like saying “don’t think of an elephant” and then you immediately picture an elephant. How does one not fear if they know they’re about to suffer? Jesus gives us some help when he says, “be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life”, v10b.

In strategic planning, we say “begin with the end in my end”. Writing about Jesus, the book of Hebrews says “… Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame…”  May I focus on the faithfulness of God and on His promises throughout times of testing. Focusing on the joy in the future helps me endure the trials of today.

Lastly, the imperative to “not fear” is directed toward us.  It’s easy to get sucked into the fear we have in America over the political drama of today; over terrorism; over the rise of Islam, over Supreme Court decisions, etc.  Do all that God calls you to do to protect our freedom and stand up for morality. But let us not fear!!! The end is set and secure. Jesus is Lord and Sovereign. Lord, give us eyes to see beyond the earthly and into Glory…both Your Glory and the glory of the crown of life you have promised us.