We all have something we are afraid of. As a kid, I used to lie in bed and stare into the darkness of my room trying not to be afraid. My imagination would run wild, and I would start to see shapes looming towards me out of the darkness. I was afraid to hang my feet or arms off the side of the bed for fear of something grabbing them. Of course, when I would turn on the light, there were no shapes or monsters in my room. From spiders to snakes to sharks, sometimes our fears are real, tangible things that can either be avoided or easily killed. Often, though, our fears are far less tangible, like the shapes in the darkness. Thankfully, through Christ, we no longer have to be afraid of anything. The gospel brings a peace and confidence that is so much greater than our fears. The gospel of Christ is the light that chases away the darkness.
1. In Christ, two of our greatest enemies—sin and death—have already been defeated.
By dying on the cross and being raised from the dead, Christ conquered death and made forgiveness of sins possible. Christ rescued us from the darkness of our sin and guilt and the power of the devil, giving us victory over what we could not defeat ourselves.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:56–57)
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13)
If God can conquer death, he can conquer anything, from the powers and authorities of this world to our own fears.
2. In Christ, God promises to bring us safely through any trial or battle of this life.
We are precious and valuable in the eyes of the Creator of the universe who promises that no matter what happens, ultimately our safety is secure.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.…Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.” (Isa. 43:1, 4)
If we have faith that Christ died for our sins, we know that nothing anyone says or does can change the reality of our forgiveness and hope of eternal life. This glorious truth empowers us to live a life free of fear.
3. In Christ, we have the armor and weapons to fight our fears on a daily basis.
The apostle Paul describes the Christian life in terms of a battle in which God equips us to face down our enemies.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Eph. 6:13).
Armed with the truth of the gospel and equipped with the word of God, we are victorious not only over our fears but over sin and death itself. A life of faith is a life of trust that God will one day finally destroy all the evil in this world. This faith is truly a great gift. Grab hold of it and fight the good fight to the end because in Christ, we are already victorious!
4. In Christ, we can confidently pray for the strength and endurance we need, knowing Christ intercedes on our behalf.
The apostle Paul prays for the Colossian church to be strengthened to endure this life. This beautiful prayer is one we can confidently pray, either for ourselves or for others, because of the salvation Christ provides.
[May you be] strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:11–14).
Until Christ returns, we will continue to battle against our fears. We will continue to fight our sin. However, Christ promises to constantly intercede on our behalf before God and to help us in times of need. The book of Hebrews tells us that Christ suffered all the earthly sufferings we experience. He faced down all the fears and temptations that we face, but he won every time. Thus, Jesus knows how difficult those fears are, but he also promises to intercede on our behalf and never leave our side:
For he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:5–6)