In a scary season, how we handle fear can minister to others
January 2021
By a member of SEND’s Diaspora | North America team — As we begin a new year, still in the grip of COVID-19, I want to bring up the subject of fear. Among ourselves, family and friends, there are those who fear catching the virus, not to mention fears about finances, fears about keeping jobs or having hours cut back, fears about whether there will be enough to pay the rent or meet the mortgage this month. Fear crouches just outside the doors of our hearts, waiting to pounce and even to cause us to waiver in our faith and perhaps doubt God’s hand on our lives. 

But God loves us with an everlasting love, and Isaiah 41:10 reminds us of this: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

Even those of us who know these truths sometimes need to be reminded. However, there are many around us who do not know these truths, and some of them are floundering overwhelmed with fear. This is especially true for new immigrants, the Muslims who live around us who do not have a personal relationship with Christ. Even in the best of times, they struggle to get established and to find jobs that will provide food and shelter for their families. 

So, it is in the midst of our daily challenge to fight back against fear that God calls us to lift our eyes heavenward, to be faithful, and to remember his truth, who he is, and that wherever we are, he is with us and he is our God. We have just celebrated Christmas, where we have proclaimed the birth of Immanuel—God with us. Let us remember this and share it with others, especially those newly arrived or those among us in our cities and towns who have not heard the Good News. Yes, we need to be careful in the midst of a pandemic, but we need not be fearful. 

But what about those who don’t have a relationship with God? What helps them cope with their fear? This is a perfect opportunity to share with them that, when you feel overwhelmed, you pray and ask for God’s peace and grace. Let them see that you have a personal relationship with the living God! Hopefully, as others hear us pray and see us live out our faith with wisdom, grace, mercy and love, they will want to know how they, too, can have a peace that passes understanding. Live out your faith transparently and be ready to share his truths.

Healthy fear protects us and keeps us on the right track. Paralyzing fear numbs our soul and our feet, keeping us from carrying the gospel to those who so desperately need it. God has brought new immigrants into our cities and towns, people who need to hear the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Are we going to be so overwhelmed with fear that we lose focus of what Jesus has called us to do and to be in our neighborhoods? He has called us to be a light to the nations!    

I challenge you to begin this new year with eyes not just focused on avoiding COVID-19, but also on seeking and finding ways to wisely share the Good News with those who have never heard that Jesus loves them, and that they can put their trust in him. Moreover, that he will be with them, that he will be their God, and that he will help and uphold them with his righteous right hand!

Prayers for the Muslim world
  • 10/10 Prayer Initiative. Join Christians around the world as we pray that 10% of the Muslim world will come to Christ in the next 10 years.
  • That we would begin the new year with a desire and purpose to live out God’s call for us to be a light to the nations.
  • That we would have courage to follow God wherever he leads us.
  • That missionary families living in heavily affected COVID-19 areas would know the Lord’s grace, peace and love in abundant measure, so that their light for Christ would shine brightly to their neighbors. 

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