Thursday, December 2, 2010

Facing our Fears: Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2

In the last post, we talked about how Sarah faced many situations that could cause fear. But notice what the New Testament says about Sarah.

1 Peter 3:5-6 says, “this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”

The context of this passage is on how wives are to live with their husbands, but the even greater context of this book is that Peter is giving us ways to live in light of the Gospel, and in the midst of suffering. In chapter 1 he tells us we have been born again to a living and abiding hope. In fact, the entire book of 1 Peter is about hoping in God—hoping in this inheritance promised to us—hoping in a coming final salvation. What is this living and abiding hope, this hope that enabled Sarah to not fear anything that was frightening?

Hebrews 11:11 says, “by faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.”

Earlier in the chapter the writer of Hebrews tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Author David Wells has this to say about a Christian’s hope:

“Christian hope is not about wishing things will get better. It is not about hoping that emptiness will go away, meaning return, and life will be stripped of its uncertainties, aches, and anxieties…Hope has to do with the knowledge of the age to come…Hope is hope because it knows it has become part of a realm, a kingdom, that endures. It knows that evil is doomed, that it will be banished.”

What he is saying is that we have hope because we know the end of the story. Sarah could hope in God because she knew that the outcome was sure. And we can have the same hope. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:9 that the outcome of this faith, this hope that God will keep us to the end and make all things new, the outcome of all of this is the salvation of our souls. We will be with Jesus in the end.

So Sarah is praised for her faith, even in the midst of her sinful attempts to control her own situation. How can she be praised as a faithful example? This should encourage us. Here a sinful woman is not only called a holy woman, but she also does not fear anything that is frightening. And we have seen that she faced some pretty frightening situations. How? Because she hoped in God. She believed in the promises to come. The promise that we now have—Jesus Christ. How do we live in a world full of fear and anxiety? We learn to hope in God, like Sarah did, and the way many women before us have. Is it easy? No. Will we fail? Absolutely.

It’s not an easy task. There are many things that can pull us away from hoping in God. We are in a battle, a battle for our souls. In order to fight in this battle we need to be ready. In the next post, I will talk about how we can be ready to fight this battle to hope in God.

2 comments:

debt said...

What a great series!! I have been encouraged and blessed by your words. Keep on, my child!! Love you tons!

cdt said...

Thanks, Mom! Love you!