(This blog was taken from Lesson 7 and 8 in Happy School Advanced.)
My most intense fearful moments are related to fears over my children. I remember having a three-year-old who was so dehydrated from the flu that he seemed almost lifeless (thank God for emergency rooms and IV’s). I also remember another son who fell on the ice and hit his head. He too was almost non-responsive on the way to the emergency room. Another time a child swallowed something, and I was afraid he might die. When the Emergency Room techs told me he would be alright, I remember sobbing because I was so relieved. Having had six kids, I could continue to list situations in which I was overcome by fear.
Some people have fear related to finances or health. Each of us has a main area that evokes fear. But the answers to fear—whatever the source—are the same. Therefore let’s comb through Psalm 91 to get some help in handling our fear.
Verse 1 says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Rest, as you know, is the opposite of fear.
The Psalmist continues making these declarations in the following verses. In verse 11, he says, “…He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” The promises continue in verses 14-15, “‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.’”
Ultimately, our fears are addressed and soothed because we trust in the Lord. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
Humans experience many fears, but death is the greatest. However, God left us a historical miracle to assure us that we need not fear death. He orchestrated the historical resurrection in which Jesus demonstrated that He conquered death.
I study apologetics because I love knowing the answers to the objections of skeptics. But I also want answers to the objections and doubts of my own heart. When studied, one finds that the scientific, historical, and philosophical evidence for God is extremely overwhelming. Jesus actually rose from the dead and nothing calms my fears like knowing this.
I love all aspects of apologetics, but one of my favorite parts is studying the sudden transformation of the disciples after the resurrection. These disciples were cowards and hid behind locked doors after the crucifixion. But after the disciples saw the resurrected Christ, these unschooled and fearful fishermen suddenly transformed into bold evangelists (no less in front of kings)! Not only that, they endured beatings and torture while they held to their eyewitness testimony that they had seen the risen Christ. Skeptics, as well as scholars, have searched for other explanations to explain the sudden transformation of these men who days earlier were arguing over which of them is the greatest (at the Last Supper) to suddenly being willing to be beaten and tortured while they proclaimed over and over that Jesus died for our sins and rose again.
What explains that transformation? Nothing—absolutely nothing— except the fact that they saw the risen Lord. One young atheist woman told me the disciples had a plot to gain political power. Such hogwash! Beatings, prison, torture, and death were the rewards the disciples got for proclaiming the resurrection, not political perks. In addition, liars make terrible martyrs and all of the disciples (except John) were martyred.
Every other possible theory to explain the resurrection has been proposed, dissected, disputed, and refuted: the Swoon theory, the group hallucination theory, the later legend theory. Nothing can explain the disciples’ transformation except that they saw what they claim to have seen.
Christian friend, it’s true. God came to earth in the form of a man, died as a sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world (foreshadowed by Passover in Exodus), and rose again. Jesus conquered death. Therefore, now you and I can rest.
Bathe your mind with this verse penned by the Apostle Paul, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)
You have a God who hears your cry, Who cares, and Who can walk on water. He is the God who “turned the hard rock into springs of water” (Ps. 114:8). He proved He was God when He rose from the dead. You can rest from your fear, as your Father is strong and kind, and has heard your cry for mercy. “Praise be to the LORD, for He has heard my cry for mercy” (Ps. 28:6).
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (Eph. 3:20). Amen.