Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Don't Give into Fear, Church!

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy of: Pawel Czerwinski

"Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."

~James 1:2-4

Over the past several months, I’ve seen many believers express fear over the potential loss of religious freedom in this country.

I understand where these brothers and sisters of mine are coming from. I understand the concerns surrounding, for example, the Equality Act and what it could mean for Christians and their free speech. I know where these folks are coming from.

But we need to stop being so myopic and quit looking just at the US. We need to zoom out and look at the world as a whole, both now and down throughout history.

When we do that, what we see is that the church has repeatedly been strengthened in the hard times. In fact, the church is always proven to be stronger, more faithful, and more able to lean on Christ when times are hard and persecution is rampant than when everything is easy, earthly freedom abounds, and we all become complacent.

It’s not that I’m over here begging God for hardship so that the church would wake up and stand firm and learn what it means to be strong in the faith.

But, as I’ve said before, God is always on the move, not the least of which being in those times when the church is persecuted or facing hardship. While we don’t yearn for hardship and freedom infringement, we can be a little excited about seeing God strengthen, build, and grow His church in amazing ways - and prove Himself the faithful sustainer of that church!- if the church does begin to lose some of its freedoms.

So, brothers and sisters in Christ, please do not lose heart! Please do not fret or wring your hands or get worried and worked up. No. Rely on your faith. Live it out. Test it. Prove that it can withstand hardship. And excitedly watch God work!

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