I remember what one of today’s great theologians, RC Sproul, said several years before his passing, “I’m not afraid of death, for I know where I’m going; it’s the dying that I’m not so excited about.” The fear of dying is real, but since I’ve already conquered the fear of public speaking, I think I’ve got this one too.

Joking aside, most people simply don’t let dying, an event we all experience, to enter their mind. I recently read a report in Neurology that suggests the human brain has a protective survival method to shunt thoughts of death out of conscious experience. The article stated that it was the only way for humans to function productively without sinking into dismal despair. Whether this is true or not, when we grow closer to that inevitable day, the thoughts can easily overtake us with fear, especially if we are reminded with daily symptoms, pain and fatigue.

Few are immune to the need to beat back fears on occasion. Regardless of one’s spiritual maturity, it doesn’t feel good to struggle, suffer, or die. This I know – when I feel great, I tend to forget about my dependence on Christ; when my symptoms increase, I’m faced with a decision. I need to either cave to fear or allow the pain to drive me to Him. I know what I NEED to do but I simply cannot do it without prayer.

In simplest terms – I am dependent on Christ to keep me dependent on Christ. I cannot do it myself!

Fear destroys hope; it steals joy. Fear rumbles up stress and worry and anxiety. Fear breeds doubt and endless questions. Fear blinds; it creates self-centered wishes. But fear is both a lie from the enemy and a root in our flesh that needs to be overcome through feeding our minds with truth and giving us, and our problems, over to God through much prayer.

I’m reminded of this simple truth: I have been bought with a price, the blood of Christ. I’m no longer my own; I’m His; all of me is His. My life is His, my pain is His, and my cancer is His, as is my weakness and stress and fear. I’m no longer my own, and the future glory that awaits me cannot compare to anything this world may throw at me.

So, when fears arise and hope seems dim, remember this: though we shall all experience the pains that accompany the corruption of this fallen world, the Holy Spirit has promised to help us in our weakness, interceding for us to our Father. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Pray as unceasingly as possible for a greater revelation of this truth in your hearts and a deeper dependence on our Father. This is over victory over fear and our filling of hope and experience of joy, that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. Nothing!

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