John lay on his face prostrate like a dead man in awe of the majesty of Christ. He was convicted of his sinfulness and confronted with Christ’s absolute holiness. But two words from his Savior revived him. Christ simply said, “Fear not,” and the aging apostle rose to his feet. There is no room for fear in the presence of our Savior.
We live in a world imprisoned by fear. In a 2005 Gallup poll, a sample of American adolescents between the ages of 13 and 15 were asked what they feared the most. Their top ten fears were terrorist attacks, spiders, death, being a failure, war, heights, criminal or gang violence, being alone, the future, and nuclear war.
Jesus gave John four reasons why he should not fear:
- “I am the first and the last.” Jesus is the everlasting God. There was never anyone before Him, nor will there be anyone after Him.
- “I am he that liveth and was dead.” Jesus died and rose again. No one can condemn those who put their trust in Him.
- “Behold, I am alive for evermore.” Jesus is presently at the right hand of God interceding for us.
- “[I] have the keys of hell and of death.” The Christian does not need to fear the judgment of Hell because his Savior has power over death and the grave.
When the world preaches fear, Christians must proclaim faith in their victorious Savior. He is the Source of our confidence and strength. Are you fearful of the future or of failure? Even in the worst-case scenario, you can be assured of His presence. Stand in faith today.
The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else. — Oswald Chambers
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.