So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
— John 8:36
To live a resurrected life is to live with freedom and joy. Why do so many of us live as though we are still slaves, as unfree people? I, myself, had recently become enslaved to fear in a specific situation, and I hadn’t even realized it had happened. I just knew that I had lost my joy. During Paul’s sermon on Sunday, God orchestrated this reminder to me: as a believer, I don’t have to be afraid of death, so I don’t have to be afraid of anything!
That one reminder was profound for me, and I want to share a truth with you. Here’s why we don’t have to be afraid:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
— 2 Timothy 1:7
I am saddened to see so many believers living fearful lives these days, afraid of terrorists, of the stock market, of one political decision or another, of people who are different from us. Our fears may be more subtle though, like leaving our comfort zones for some special ministry, looking foolish, or who knows what else. What are you afraid of?
It is impossible to hold both fear and joy. To whatever extent we are fearful, our joy is diminished. Fear is not the work of God. It is the enemy who comes “to steal and kill and destroy.” Jesus came that we “may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). What is keeping you prisoner and stealing your abundant joy? To what do you need to say, “No more! I’m not willing to live afraid!”? Let’s fully embrace all that Jesus did on the cross. Let’s refuse to live afraid, and take hold of some of the most important gifts Jesus’ sacrifice offers us: freedom and joy!