Freedom From Fear, Part 7: The Fear of Death -- By Lyn Chaffart

Last week, in FREEDOM FROM FEAR, Part 6, we learned that freedom from fear not only requires faith, but it also that we stop looking at the storm. If we keep our eyes on God, no matter what new thing is thrown our way, we will prevail! But isn't this a bit simplistic of a response for the fears of things that are inevitable? Things like - Death?

The longer I am in this ministry, the more I realize that there are thousands of Christians out there who fear death.

Why?

I believe there are three primary reasons. First of all, many fear death because they are unsure of their Salvation. They aren't certain they have done enough for God, they have confessed enough sin, or they don't feel worthy of Jesus' sacrifice.

It is an understandable fear. If you are not sure you're going to Heaven, there's only one other destination and none of us want to go there!

But the Bible tells us that Jesus is "the Way" to Heaven: "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6-7 NIV)

It tells us that belief in Jesus saves: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…" (Acts 16:31 NIV)

The Bible is also clear that there is NOTHING we can do to save ourselves: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast." (Eph 2:8-10 NIV)

This means that keeping the law and doing good deeds won't save us. We can only be saved by accepting Jesus' gift of Salvation. Therefore, if you have made Jesus Lord and Savior of your life, there is no reason to fear! Jesus' sacrifice is enough! You can trust it! When you die, you will go to be with Him in Glory!

The second reason Christians fear death is that they don't feel their time is up.

Once again, this type of a fear of death is rooted in lack of faith. The Bible tells us: "your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Ps 139:16 NIV) God knew before He even created us how long our time would be on Earth!

The Bible also tells us: "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" (Rom 11:33-35 NIV) God knows what is best for us, and when His pre-described number of days is up, He knows that we will be much happier in Heaven with Him than we could ever be for the rest of our days on Earth!

Remember Ecclesiastes 3:11? "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men …" (NIV) We were created for eternity, friends, and no matter what happens, bad or good, God will make it beautiful!

The third reason Christians fear death is that there is so much on this Earth that they haven't yet done seen, or there's so much they feel they could do for Christ if they were to live.

But is there? Really?

Remember, God knows what awaits you in Heaven, and He knows that what is there is so far better than the best things we have on Earth, that it cannot be described in words! All the beautiful things God has given us here on Earth are but copies of the real. Maybe we will never experience all that our hearts desire for us to experience on this Earth, but what awaits us in Heaven is so much more real, so much more enjoyable, so much more fulfilling!

Remember: Unlike God, we do not see the end from the beginning … "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror … Now I know in part …" (1 Cor 13:12a NIV) … But one day we will: "then we shall see face to face ... then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Cor 13:12b NIV)

So the bottom line is this: we fear death because we don't have enough faith! We doubt that God's ways are best, we doubt that what awaits us after life is better than what we have here, and we don't truly believe in God's ability to begin and end our lives at precisely the right moment!

Friends, let's not go through life drug down by the fear of death! This will only darken our joy here on Earth! Instead, let's put our faith 100% in Jesus, trusting Him with our Salvation, believing that He knows what is best, and resting assured that what He has for us in Heaven will far outshine our wildest imagination here on Earth. Let's embrace the truth that God knows the precise moments to begin and end our lives, and let's have 100% Faith in His love for us, for "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear …" (1 John 4:18a NIV)

In the last several devotionals, we have used the working definition that fear is rooted in a lack of faith. But doesn't James tell us that faith without works is dead? Therefore, when we take a stand in faith, shouldn't we work in a little "insurance" somewhere? Join us next week for FREEDOM FROM FEAR, Part 8: Insurance!

In His love,

Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.


(To access the entire "Freedom From Fear" mini-series, please click here.)