My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst!
Our contemporary world is gripped by uncertainty and fear. A fear that has never been felt before to such a degree. A fear which is debilitating and renders us weak and unable to live normal lives. How do we overcome this overwhelming great fear?
As children of God, we can only understand it in light of our Christian faith. In the book of Revelation, we read: "Do not fear any of those things "which you are about to suffer… Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). Also, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–OUR FAITH. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:3-5).
We, contemporary Christians, feel the intensity of this prevailing fear due to our weak faith and commitment to our Savior Jesus Christ. When men and women are to go off to war and confront the enemy, they first undergo rigorous training. No untrained person would be able to fight off the enemy and to survive the battle. It is wise and necessary before we attempt to confront evil, or even fear, to be spiritually prepared not only to confront it but to be victorious.
Spiritual warfare is even more dangerous than conventional war. Saint Paul offers us the means to enter it the proper way: "Finally," he says, "my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THE WILES OF THE DEVIL. For we do NOT wrestle against flesh and blood, BUT AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS AGE, AGAINST SPIRITUAL HOSTS OF WICKEDNESS IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES" (Ephesians 6:10-12). Saint Paul continues his advice on how to protect us ourselves from evil: "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with TRUTH, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking THE SHIELD OF FATIH with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, AND THE SWORD OF THE Spirit, which IS THE WORD OF GOD" (Ephesians 6:13-17).
We feel this overwhelming fear today due to the pandemic and the fear of death because we have distanced ourselves from our Creator. There are many of us who have severed ties to the Almighty God. Many have replaced Him with new gods, the gods of avarice and pleasure. We have lost our way by turning away from the Divine Teachings and Commandments of God. We have lost our Christian identity willingly and replaced it with a worldly and secular identity. We condone and tolerate everything which is contrary to our faith. We have forgotten the admonition of our Lord Who says to us, "NO SERVANT (Christians believer) can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON" (Luke 16:13).
If we are to fear anything, we should fear losing our soul. Our Savior Jesus Christ asks us the question, "For what profit is it for a man if he gains the whole world, and LOSES HIS SOUL? Or what will a man give IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL? " (Matthew 16:26). "Furthermore SUBMIT TO GOD. RESIST THE DEVIL and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:7-8).
Fear can be a negative power or a positive one. Fear is negative when we submit to it and allow it to control us. Fear can be a positive force in our lives when it warns us of coming danger and threat. We must maintain control over our emotions and passions and instead surrender our lives over to Christ God. We should never doubt His unconditional love for us which He has proven through the Life-Giving Cross, His sacrifice to save all of mankind from evil and death.
Trust in our Lord and never fear!
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostom
+ + +
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George