By Laura Adkins
Jesus told us that we will have trouble in this world, but he closely followed that statement with these words: “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). By believing that Jesus has overcome the world, we are not free from troubles during the life we live here on Earth; however, we are free from fear. What do we have to fear indeed if Christ really has conquered death?
The Power of Fear
Fear is a gripping force in our lives. The love of Christ is stronger than fear, but actively living in Christ’s love does not come as naturally to us as living in fear. I can trace my stress, anger, and frustration to a fear—a fear of not being good enough, a fear of not being loved, a fear of being alone . . . the list could continue for pages.
Noticeably, my fear always comes back to the almighty me. When my husband had a series of seizures, I was terrified. Why was I so afraid? I was afraid my husband would have a brain tumor and would die. (He did not!) Why am I afraid of my husband dying? I don’t want to be alone. Ah ha! So my fear was about me and my desires all along.
The Truth about Death
My friend Suzy did die of a brain tumor, and all who knew her were extremely sad that the world had lost a shining light for the kingdom of God. However, she faced death with open arms, ready to meet her dear friend and Savior. Jesus’ perfect love drove out any hint of fear because she believed so definitively that she would be with Jesus when her earthly light faded.
When believers die, we make mention at memorial services that we are happy that they are with the Lord; however, how many of us truly believe that the person is rejoicing in Heaven with Christ? If we actually believe this truth (after we grieve the loss), shouldn’t we be rejoicing in the new life that our friend is experiencing as he or she is made whole?
Laura Adkins lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Terry. She teaches 6th grade Language Arts at The Summit Country Day School.