When all the world crouches in fear, how does a Christian stand fearless and undaunted?
There is a secret.
Okay, it’s not really a “secret” but so few Christians utilize what is available to them, it almost feels like its some hidden and classified truth that every believer is supposed to wield—not just during troubled times but every moment of every day.
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 that “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh [carnal] but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
We must remember that the secret weapon of a Christian is not a bomb or a bazooka but rather something even more powerful, though our weapon is not of the flesh (or “carnal”).
The Not-So-Secret “Secret”
We, as Christians, are told to “rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
It’s interesting to me that the Greek word for “always” in Philippians 4:4 actually means “always” or “at all times.”
Which means this word is not based on circumstance, activity, trial, triumph, or anything else.
Paul doesn’t say to merely rejoice when good things happen but to rejoice ALWAYS – in the middle of every struggle, hardship, trial, difficulty, problem, and (gasp!) even when the world is in a pandemic plague of panic.
The Secret of Prison Cells
After healing a woman who was controlled by a demon, Paul and Silas were wrongfully accused of disturbing the city of Philippi, which was a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony (Acts 16:12).
The city leaders had Paul and Silas beaten with rods and then thrown into prison (Acts 16:22-23).
Rather than have a nice cell with a lovely window overlooking this majestic city, they were placed in the “inner prison” (some scholars call this a dungeon) – the most secure place of the prison, usually with poor ventilation, and some scholars have said that this may have been the pit (or basement) of the prison where the filth and sewer of the prison would drain through.
Regardless, it would have been miserable.
And their feet were placed in wooden stocks fasted to the floor which would have for added security and to inflict a greater measure of suffering, cramping, and difficulty of movement.
While such punishments may have been normal and appropriate for prisoners of low status in Paul’s day, it certainly wasn’t fit for Roman citizens (as Paul was) who had yet to receive a trial.
So because Paul healed and freed a woman of her demonic possession, he and Silas were falsely accused, beaten, imprisoned, and now sitting in wooden stocks in a dark, dank, depressing place.
So what do Paul and Silas decide to do?
What was their secret?
They sang. They rejoiced. They turned their gaze to heaven and smiled.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them …” (Acts 16:25).
Do You Know the Secret?
What about you?
Have you discovered the secret to a Christian living in triumph regardless of trial?
Our world is currently plagued with panic and frantic with fear. We see people crouched in concern and trumpeting the turbulent trials we face.
So have you joined into the cacophony of complaint and “woe is me” or have you turned your gaze to heaven, set a smile upon your face, and begun to praise, worship, declare God’s goodness, and rejoice?
We are commanded to “rejoice always,” not just when we feel like it.
Are you rejoicing today in all things?
So when all the world crouches in fear, how does a Christian stand fearless and undaunted?
As Christians, we must keep their focus steadfast upon Christ Jesus. We must remember His precious promises which are an anchor to our soul (see Hebrews 6:17-19). We must know the character of God and the authority of His Word, so we have something solid for our lives to stand upon. And we must learn to rejoice in every circumstance.
When a Christian lives as a Christian, they quickly discover that they can stand fearless and undaunted no matter what trial they face, the prison cell they sit in, or the pressure of panic the rest of the world has given into.
So let’s live as Christians—biblical Christians who are built firmly upon the cornerstone of Christ Jesus.
As A.W. Tozer so eloquently said it: “A frightened world needs a fearless church.”
I’m cheering you on unto that end.