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Monday, December 16, 2013

No Fear

On a trip this summer I was meeting with underground churches in a country that is hostile to Christianity.  On the first night there the three of us who were there from the United States were called to the police station to give an account.  It was interesting.  On the way over, I was thinking that Paul was thrown in jail and was able to share the gospel there.  I was praying that whatever happened we would serve the Lord.  The odd thing is that I was not nervous or afraid.  Mostly I was intrigued.  I wondered how and if I could serve Christ in the situation.  That is not my normal response to things like that.
How do we really face life with no fear?  Thoughts at DTTB.
This morning I was working through 1 Peter 3.  In verses 6 and 14 Peter tells us not to fear.  In the first instance his exhortation is directed to wives.  The second is directed to all believers.  We are not to fear in the midst of persecution for our faith.  Rather as a contrast we are to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, verse 15.  Essentially we are to trust the sovereign Lord that He is in control of the situation both in submission to the authorities and their attacks on us because of our faith.  The result of that trust is hope.  It is that hope, hope that is humanly incongruous with the circumstance that raises questions in the minds of those observing.  The presence of hope in the face of persecution leads them to ask why we have that hope.

We were not persecuted.  We were just being “protected” by the police because of the state department travel warnings that were in place at the time.  Additionally, those police wanted a kickback on the rent we were paying the owners of the house we rented.  We did not know that.  We did not speak the language.

We did not know that until after we left the station, but I was not afraid.  I was not upset by the interruption of our plans for that evening.  The thing that frustrates me is that when I travel on trips like this overseas I expect that my plans will be altered, radically altered.  I have no problems with that.  The thing that bothers me is that I get frustrated when they are altered here during my daily life.  I should not have to fly 30 hours in a plane to a place where I do not speak the language to trust Christ, to not fear and resent change of my plans.

Apparently, I have some more growing to do.

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