5 Truths to Help Us Live in Peace and Not Fear
1. Life is short
Life on earth ends in the blink of an eye. Everyone will die. The longest verified lifespan is 122 years (apart from biblical stories of Old Testament figures including Moses and Methuselah); however, compared to eternity, it was only a moment. The scriptures teach: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a moment and then disappears” (James 4:14 NIV).
Old Testament King David reminded us: “Man is like a breath; it’s days like a passing ball” (Psalm 144:4 ESV). He also used this analogy:
“Human beings are like grass, they grow like flowers in the field; the wind blows it away, not remembering its whereabouts” (Psalm 103:15-16 NIV). This sentence always reminds me of mom and dad. They have been in business for 40 years. They’ve been gone for a few years now, and their old business has been demolished and replaced with another one. The wind blew, and he disappeared. How long will their business be remembered? How long will they remember them?
Accepting the reality of inevitable future death helps us to let go of the illusion that with the right choices our lives here are endless. I frequently find myself pretending that my existence will continue indefinitely instead of treating each moment as a gift to live life to the fullest. When we can make peace with this truth, we are free to find joy in the here and now, even on difficult or monotonous days.
2. God does not want us to live in fear
Jesus came “to deliver those who have been held captive all their lives in chains for fear of death” (Hebrews 2:15 NIV). Fear is a terrible slave. It robs us of our joy and peace and makes us focus on what is temporary instead of eternal. We can be so obsessed with our “safety” that we lose sight of the adventures God wants for us, adventures that are unique in our time on earth.
We can choose to confess as David did:
“Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no calamity, for the Lord is with me” (Psalm 23:4 ESV). We may not know what tomorrow will bring or when we will die – and in a fallen world the future holds many unnamed sorrows – but we do know that God is with us. ta.
Jesus promised this gift:
“I leave you alone; My peace, I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV). As we cling to Him, we can have peace in our hearts, even when surrounded by pain and sorrow. Jesus is the anchor of our souls. What a promise of peace amidst the storms of life, present and future!
A close friend recently received a frightening diagnosis. I can give in to fear or know that no matter what, Jesus has her – and me – in His hands and will guide us. Yes, tough times are inevitable, but how we deal with the tough times – and look to God or not – determines whether fear can be defeated.
3. We are not capable of prolonging our lives
Although the choices we make affect our quality of life and have the potential to extend our lifespan, they do not. What we do can promise a long life. God is sovereign over everyone and everything.
King David wrote, “All the days appointed for me were recorded in the book of the Lord before there were any” (Psalm 139:16 NIV). His son, King Solomon, known for his great wisdom, concluded:
“Just as no man has the power to restrain the wind, so no one has power when it dies” (Ecclesiastes) 8:8 NIV ). Job, in biblical antiquity, learned this wisdom from his suffering:
“A man’s day is appointed; You have dictated his number of months, and you have set limits that he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5 NIV).
Jesus Christ asked this rhetorical question:
“Are any of you anxious to add an hour to your life?… So don’t worry about tomorrow, for it is today. I will take care of myself tomorrow. There is enough trouble every day” (Matthew 6:27, 34 NIV).
God gave us free will. We can choose to waste time, ruin our health, and even kill ourselves. But worry and fear will never add another day. Worry really robs us of our health and peace of mind. I can make all the wisest choices possible, but I cannot guarantee that I will live tomorrow.
So I choose to live wisely and well, but with the freedom to know that our Father has all things under His control and care.
4. To the believer, to die is to live
God does not see death as we do. Psalm 116:15 tells us: “In the sight of Jehovah, the death of his faithful servants is precious. Our fathers expect to receive each of his children with open arms.
Since Jesus Christ died and rose again, the One who conquers death forever, we can say: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your venom?… He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57 NIV).
Although we may suffer, there is no defeat. Jesus has conquered death! Then there is eternal glory, where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the old order of things, has passed away” (Revelation 21:4 NIV).
5. God wants us to live now, at this moment
Our loving Father does not want us to obsess over when and how to die. How we live is more important than how long we live.
We are called to see each day as a gift: “This is the day the Lord made; let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24 ESV). New Testament author Paul urges us to “Be careful in your conduct, not being hasty, but being wise, making the most of your time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV).
When we first sought the Lord, the Bible tells us: “Keep full peace with him whose spirit is on you, for he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3 ESV).
Instead of being bewildered by every new threat, we can trust in the almighty God:
Source of love. We can receive each day as a gift, present in all we do as we look forward to the day when we will be with Jesus forever in His perfect kingdom.