When I was a kid being a victim was simply not cool! We wanted to be the tough kid; the one that everybody feared. We wanted to be known as fighters. We did not want to be labored a coward or weak. However, in today’s society, we celebrate victimhood; there is no need to overcome anything. Part of the reason this is so, is because being a victim has its privileges. There are a number of government programs and various kinds of disabilities that, if you qualify for, you can make some money out of it without having to do a thing. Taxpayers have your back! Let me establish very quickly that it is not biblical for us, as Christians, to see ourselves as victims and walk around in fear. That is a slap in the face of God.
Make no mistake about it… life is tough. In 2 Timothy 4:7 the Apostle Paul tells us, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (NIV) The Christian life is a fight; it is a fight to maintain our faith in spite of what we go through and, in spite of what our eyes see. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that, “…we live by faith, not by sight.” (NIV) Another great man of God, King David, tells us in Psalm 34:19 that, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (KJV) The focus should never be on the suffering; but in God’s deliverance. Beloved, we are more than overcomers. Revelation 12:11 tells us, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (KJV)
The word Overcome in Revelation 12:11 is the Greek word “níkē” meaning, “To be victorious, to prevail. Romans 8:37 tells us that, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (KJV) Again here, we see the Word Nike! Maybe you lost a love one; maybe you lost your job; maybe you suffer a great betrayal; maybe you lost it all; maybe your dad mistreated you; maybe your mom mistreated you. Maybe this or maybe that! God did not promise a life with no afflictions; but He promised that He will deliver you from them all. There are two Biblical reasons why Christians should be the most courageous people on the face of the earth:
- We should not be afraid of death: The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (NIV). A Christian should never be afraid of death. I wrote this article about a year ago; I felt like doing an update because of the reaction of many “Christians” in regard to the Coronavirus. It is now ok in Arizona to gather again for our worship services as long as we are 25% capacity, practice social distance, keep the place clean, extra hand sanitizer and so on. Governor’s closing the churches is another discussion, for another day, but to see how easy we went to online services, how afraid we are to gather again and how so many did not considered powerful and biblical alternative such as meeting in small groups in homes or in parks, lakes, etc. Because of our fear of death, we violate one of our most important exercises Christian faith…the gathering of the saints. Hebrews 10:25 tells us, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NIV) Why? Because of fear of death. That is a shame! Even after President Donald Trump declared churches essential, pointed out the abuse of power of many governors around the country and stated that he will override any governors who opposes churches to be open in their state, I will not be surprise if we do not see a massive amount of churches opening today.
- The greatest weapon against fear is love: We as Christians are called to love. Love is at the center of our relationship with God, we are called to love Him above all things. Also, love is at the center of our social responsibility as we are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In Mark 12:30-31 Jesus told us, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV) The level of your fear is the level of your love; the Apostle John stated in I John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (NIV)
The Coronavirus is exposing the character of our political leaders; but is also exposing the character of our religious leaders. We can see why cowards will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:8). They are selfish and they have no faith in God. In their selfishness and lack of trust in God they are doing a great job in destroying our country.
Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).