As we enter the New Year of 2022 many freedom lovers are protesting against mandates, vaccine passports and lockdowns. Special forces and heroes are rising up to defend our constitution, that has been circumvented by the parliamentary process and trampled upon. We live in uncertain times. It seems that the world is in a strange shift. It is hard to articulate the many difficult situations which are before us, that need to be addressed, for which seemingly is no man made solution.
Knowing that Christ is near, whether during a struggle or within the mid of darkness, is one of the reasons I do not completely yield to my fears and stop moving forward. Knowing that there is a kingdom of grace, beauty and peace, is the hope I remind myself when I fear death. It is my console when in uncertainty. It is this promise that somehow quiets my fears of being abandoned and alone. I can relate to the resolution of the psalmist who wrote
“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God that I may declare all thy works.” Psalms 73:28.
There are many who take comfort in the thought that God is among us, comforting our fears, quieting cries of distress, standing near to all those who call upon His name. History proves that God moves in our lives in different ways, that we might discover He is there. Though in heaven, He is not far.
We as Christians have a firm foundation to place our hope on. We do not cling to fairytales, fantasy or delusions otherwise our faith would be futile. We can build our hope upon the Rock of our salvation. We do not build our hope on the quicksand. Our hope is not like straw or grass that today is and tomorrow is burned in the fire. We have the promise from the mouth of God, the beautiful words
“…do not fear, for I am with you…” Isaiah 41:10.
“…For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it..” Isaiah 40:5. This is the answer for us and our nations.
Throughout the Scripture the divine vow “I am with you” is made with sovereign confidence. To the prospect of being in exile God said “Do not be afraid, for I am with you, I will bring your children from the east and from the west…“ Isaiah 43:5. The promise was also given to Paul who struggled with uncertainty. The divine voice echoed the same blessed assurance in encouragement
“Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” Acts 18:9-10.
Our beautiful Lord, even as He anticipated the cross, gave His disciples this promise, that is for us also
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.
The promise of God’s nearness is one that Christians rightfully utter as encouragement and cling to in joy. It abolishes fear and sorrow because we know the face and character of the One who is ever near. It is more that a promise of proximity and intimacy. Christ who is fully God and also fully man shares our humanity. He is intimately acquainted with our struggles, He is our advocate and hope. He does not offer empty or superficial promises. The promise of His proximity is more profound than we can fathom as it is written
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you…” Jeremiah 1:5.
“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 1:8.
There is indeed a kingdom. Christ is not only the King who reigns in heaven but He also is here. He is good and our defense, ever present. We need not to be afraid.