33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” — John 16:32-33
What Are You Most Afraid Of?
by Tony H. Nunn
When you’re remembering Halloween, you might say you are most afraid of ghosts, spiders, skeletons or chain saws. But in real life, it’s very different. At 70 plus years now, I’m more afraid of losing a child, a grandchild or my spouse. I also fear getting a life-ending disease such as cancer or a heart attack, or a physical condition that would cause me to live in pain.
In John 16:33, Jesus warned the disciples they would have suffering in this world—and the same warning is true for us today. Living in the United States, we have been shielded from many of the sufferings that Christians in other countries are experiencing. One of my greatest fears is that we may be losing those protections, and I especially fear that for my grandchildren and their children. The extreme polarization that is happening now in the political world is reinforcing those fears, and it makes me wonder what will happen to the church as we move into the future.
FULL STOP: Jesus said; “You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
As the church, we are to be courageous in the midst of all our fears and sufferings! When we encounter suffering in our lives, we must draw ever closer to Jesus and then encourage others to do so as well. That means getting to know and ministering to our neighbors, both Christian and non-Christian, where we live, work and play.
With all the hate coming from social and news media on an everyday basis, we as the church must obey Jesus by loving our neighbors. We do not have a choice. Regardless of how they are living or what they believe, Jesus commands it!
- Do you know the neighbors who live around you? If not, make it your goal to move them from being strangers to acquaintances to friends you know well.
- Do you know the parents or grandparents of your children’s or grandchildren’s teammates who sit next to you in the stands? Be brave—get to know them!
- How can you minister to your neighbors today?
- What is your greatest fear? Give it to Jesus!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.