In chapter five, Angie delves into our fear of death and why we doubt God's presence in our lives when things aren't going our way and when we are afraid. She begins the chapter by talking about the Disciples relationship with Jesus. He called them to be with Him, to follow Him, and to do His work. And as they witnessed His teachings and healings, they saw "people walk away as new creations." These men, the Disciples, "shared" their lives with Christ-- they shared their "hearts, their hopes, and their dreams." As you and I follow Jesus, we too have the privilege of sharing our lives with Jesus. Angie retells the story of the "fishers of men" in the boat, as the seas rise and threaten the boat Jesus is asleep. The men are fearful and question if He is going to allow the waves to harm them, and they cry out to Him.
Things happen in our lives that make us question where God is and cry out to Him-
people are unable to get pregnant, lose babies and other loved ones, lose their jobs, are diagnosed with cancer or terminal illnesses, have accidents and these are the types of things that cause us to question who God is and His plan..."how do you go on believing in a God that allows such [things] to happen?" These doubting thoughts are exactly what the enemy wants. Satan wants us to feel as though Jesus has forgotten about us...but that is untrue. It satisfies Satan when we question God's sovereignty. There are things in our lives that allow the enemy to gain a "foothold" and it would be wise for us to determine what those areas are for us personally. How does Satan work his way into your life; what fears does he use against you?
To fear death is normal, and Angie describes that feeling at its core as the "recognition that [we] do not have control of live. God Himself knows [our] last day on this earth and how it is that [we] will be brought to Him. It isn't for [us] to know." The solution to fear- according to Matthew Henry: "Let those who dread death, and strive to get the better of their terrors, no longer attempt to outbrave or to stifle them, no longer grow careless or wicked through despair. Let them not expect help from the world, or human devices; but let them seek pardon, peace, grace, and a lively hope of heaven, by faith in Him who died and rose again, that thus they may rise above the fear of death."
We have the amazing opportunity to "glorify God in how we respond to fear" like David did in Psalm 55. And we must not be so fearful of death that it leaves us too crippled to trust our Jesus. Through prayer and time spent in His word, we must believe that "death is sweeter than life," and the most glorifying thing that we can do is to "love [life] while we have it, always mindful that there is a greater place awaiting us."
Oh, how glorious it will be to be with our Father in Heaven, free from all our fears. -J.