* Replacing Fear with Hope

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Opinion

By John Erwin, Associate Pastor, Agoura Bible Fellowship

For most of us the coronavirus potentially represents the worst medical crisis we have ever experienced and has reached pandemic status. Even people of faith are gripped with fear, uncertainty and anxiety. The volatility of our emotions is only exceeded by the roller coaster of the stock market! Is there any good news? Is there any hope? I believe there is. It is wrapped around the hope of Jesus Christ this Easter Season.

By the way, both optimists and pessimists have hope! Do you want proof? The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist invents the parachute. ☺ Our Christian hope is based on the certainty of God’s promises and His character. Even when faith falters, hope comes to the rescue. It is that long rope that keeps us linked to the security of God’s faithfulness.

This Easter season we are understandably insecure, fearful and anxious. We want to be told that everything is going to be okay! It is the fear of the unknown that is so debilitating. Someone has defined fear as: False Evidence Appearing Real!

  • Will I have enough toilet paper? ☺
  • Will my 401K recover?
  • Will someone I love die from this pandemic?

God says “Fear Not” 365 times in the Bible …one for each day.

  • What were the first words the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead? “Don’t be afraid!”
  • What were the first words Jesus said after he rose from the dead? “Don’t be afraid!”
  • What were the first words the disciples heard Jesus say when he met them as a group? “Don’t be afraid!” That’s the message of Easter. And 2,000 years later it still applies.

Why did God give us this assurance? Because fear is contagious. It’s limiting. It’s draining. It’s the dark room where negativity develops. And, most importantly, God doesn’t want you to be afraid. So what is God’s antidote the contagion of fear? In a sentence: Placing your faith in the security of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross! Here are the ABC’s of Easter.

Accept God’s love

Where God’s love is, there is no fear because God’s perfect love drives out fear.”

1 John 4:18

When love comes in the front door of your life, fear goes out the back door. Love is the antidote to fear.

We were created just so God can love us.. And He wants us to know Him and love him back. That’s why He sent Jesus Christ to live a perfect life, to die on the cross for us, and to rise again. That’s what Easter hope is all about.

Believe that Jesus died and rose again

It’s one thing to believe about something; it’s another thing to believe in something. Believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection is more than just head knowledge.

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men.”

1 Tim. 4:10

Understandably, most of us don’t want to talk about death Why? We don’t know what’s going to happen after we die, and we’re not ready to meet God. The only way we can be ready to meet God is by having a relationship with Him. That can only happen because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

When you believe what Jesus says about the future is true, then you can stop being afraid of death. That’s part of the good news of Easter.

Commit your fears and your life to Christ

Part of the reason so many people are so scared today is that they’ve placed their trust in the wrong places. They’ve placed their trust in medical preparedness, social distancing, listening to the experts, etc.

The only real antidote to the fear that you are facing now is a commitment to Christ. When you make him Lord of your life, you don’t have to fear losing anything.

Decide that this Easter will be different! Jesus says “He is the way, the truth and the life! The Bible answers 3 of life’s most compelling questions:

  • How can I be saved? “I am the way”
  • How can I be sure? “I am the truth”
  • How can I be satisfied? “I am the life”

Do you want the security of God in your life…the security that eliminates fear; the kind that gives you hope? My answer: Jesus!

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