Do not fear
I’m not good at debating a point with others. I’m simply not talented in that way. People will quickly get round me with some pretty words, making me doubt if I’m going in the right direction. Suddenly I’m uncertain, and fear lurks on the edges.
However, we shouldn’t be afraid of others: 28Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against.
People often try to trip us. Just as we feel we understand a little bit more about God, someone comes in from the side and tell us that we’re missing the point. And then some of us will become uncertain and even start doubting. Are we going in the right direction? Are we wrong and they right? We even become afraid.
Paul says we should never be afraid. We must hold on. We shouldn’t run away or run after them. We do know we are going in the right direction. We truly believe that Jesus came to earth to die for our sin and we know that is enough. People who come with other stories shouldn’t make us afraid.
This is the confirmation: 28… Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God.
Instead of scaring us of others, this strengthens our faith, because you see, it’s not about us, but all about God. God is the One who makes the first move towards man. God is the One who is first out of the starting blocks to give us a chance of salvation. God pays the ultimate price to give mankind a chance to be saved. He lets his Son die on the cross.
Do we deserve any of this? Can we do anything to earn it? No, we are not at all able to do anything to deserve or earn it. If our salvation depended on us, others who disagree with us would have made us afraid and confused.
Fortunately, everything starts with God. Even the plan to save us. Therefore, if we believe in Jesus, we know we’re going in the right direction. And therefore we don’t have to be afraid when clever people try to lead us astray. Stand your ground and believe that you are going in the right direction. Believe that Jesus is the Saviour and let your whole life bear witness to that.
Make sure that your actions are in line with the road you are taking, because when you understand what Jesus has done for you on the cross, you have no choice but to bring your actions in line with his will, out of gratitude. When taking the right road to God, make sure that whatever you do is also right in the eyes of God.
Then we need not be afraid of people who disagree with us. Chances are our way of life will show we are going in the right direction …
Are you sometimes afraid of other people’s opinion?
Do you believe that you are on God’s road?
In what way should you live differently?
Father, thank you that today we can again rest assured and know that through your grace alone we have been saved from our sin by Jesus’ blood. Each of us who believes that Jesus died for us too wants to bring our actions in line with God’s will for our lives. Please help us to do that. Amen