How to Face Fear Faithfully – Part Four

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41: 10

In the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. is President Lincoln’s Bible. The edge is well worn where it has been often opened to the passage stained from his finger having passed over it many times as he read: “I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

All of the reassurance stored in our text should incite faith. Faith makes us stretch and want to live up to the standard set by our predecessors in the faith. Imagine, if you can, a moment of time in the ebbing life of a faithful follower of our Lord in the days of the infant church.

It is the Circus Maximus in Rome. Standing alone in the center of the arena is one of our predecessors in the faith of whom the world was not worthy. Try to conceive of the stress of standing alone in that vast hostile arena. Only a few moments are allowed to elapse before the wild beasts are released. Come now, use your vivid imagination, and stand alone in that theater ringed by tier upon tier of bitter, blood lustful, mocking former friends. Wait in utter isolation and hear the derisive jeers of those with whom you have lived from childhood.

You know full well you will have to wait and endure that indignity only a moment before tasting bittersweet death.

They, your former associates, think you to be mad for you have broken with their way of life and embraced a God they don’t know. You have rebelled against what they call their gods of common sense.

This you have done for a love which only your heart knows.

You are acting in obedience to a voice they cannot hear. You are living and dying for a hope they can’t comprehend.

For this love, for this hope, in obedience to this voice, you are making the ultimate irrevocable sacrifice of your life.

This can be done only by looking away from everything that is not God.  You are calmly and peacefully acting because of the intensity of a single allegiance.

Come back now to the present and your personal modern arena. You can live it victoriously as they do. You cannot do it without the intensity of a single allegiance. You must look away from everything that is not God.  It is an act of faith.

Practice today and every day hereafter looking away from everything that is not godly. You must expect it to require the intensity of a single allegiance.