Written and preached by David P. Nolte
Jenny, a young girl, lay afflicted with an incurable disease. Although
a Christian, she was touched with fear. When her pastor arrived, she expressed
her anxiety, "Oh, Dr. Donald, I am afraid of what's ahead. I can't
see anything, and my faith is weak! What shall I do?" The preacher's
face grew very tender as he looked at her. He knew she was a true child
of God and that Satan was attacking her in her weakened condition. I think
something similar was happening to John on Patmos. He was in exile on a
rocky little island only 10 miles long and 5 miles wide. Banishment was
a typical form of Roman punishment for political prisoners. John, subject
as we all are to the weakness of the flesh, may have been assailed by doubt
as he languished on that barren island. Of one thing I am certain. Nobody
is immune to the attacks of Satan. John may have been tempted to question
the validity of all he had preached and all he had believed and all that
for which he had hoped. In the midst of his testing and his isolation came
Jesus with His "Fear not!" Those are timely words for us all.
We can "fear not" for good reason:
- BECAUSE HE COMFORTS US: V17:
- John is terrified at the sight of the Living Lord and falls on his
face in a dead faint. But Jesus has comfort! He touches John and bids him
- Get this: He touched John and comforted him. Think about this and grasp
- The strong hand of the Mighty Jesus rests gently on the shoulder of
the frightened John -- and the frightened you!
- The hand of the Conqueror is also the hand of the Consoler; It consoled
john and it can console you!
- The powerful touch of Jesus communicates calm assurance, power, blessing,
peace, relief and calm; it did for John and it can for you!
- A fellow on T.V. asks, "Do you need cash?" What a question!
I ask this morning, "Do you need comfort?" What a question! We
all need it and God affords it!
- We can have comfort when faced with the hour of death: "Even though
I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou
art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." Psalms
- We can have comfort when people are against us: "Show me a sign
for good, That those who hate me may see it, and be ashamed, Because Thou,
O Lord, hast helped me and comforted me." Psalms 86:17.
- We can have comfort when our sins are forgiven: "Comfort, O comfort
My people," says your God. "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call
out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord's hand Double for all her sins."
Isaiah 40:1, 2.
- We can have comfort when we mourn: "Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4.
- We can have comfort in our afflictions: "Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;
who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves
are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4
- We can have comfort when we are depressed: "But God, who comforts
the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus;" 2 Corinthians
- No lifeless Jesus could help us but because He lives, Jesus stands
near today to touch you and to say as He did to John, "Fear not!"
Jenny, really doubted her own faith more than anything and she just
needed comfort. Not only was that available from her pastor, but from Jesus
Christ Himself. It is available to us, too. Furthermore, we can "fear
not" for another reason:
- BECAUSE HE CONQUERS DEATH: V18:
- Jesus was really dead and is really alive! He holds the keys of death
and Hades, the place of departed spirits. This is an image of His authority
- Let me state at the outset: this does not mean that we will never experience
the separation of body and spirit in what we know as death. That is one
of the common experiences of man. It is still true: "it is appointed
for men to die once and after this comes judgment." Hebrews
9:27. But, what then does this mean to you and to me?
- It means that we can say with David when the hour of our departure
arrives: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort
me." Psalms 23:4.
- It means that everyone who believes in Jesus will still live even though
we die. John 11:25.
- It means that "when this perishable will have put on the imperishable,
and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the
saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'" 1
- It means that "Since then the children share in flesh and blood,
He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might
render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and
might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all
their lives." Hebrews 2:14, 15.
- It means that we can be assured that "He who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus." 2 Corinthians 4:14.
- It means that we can look forward to a reunion: "For if we believe
that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who
have fallen asleep in Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 4:14.
- Because He conquers death, "It is not death to die! The body falls
asleep; the Spirit flies away to God Who promises to keep!"
- No lifeless Jesus could assure us of victory over death, but because
He lives Jesus stands near today to touch you and to say as He did to John,
Jenny knew her life would be cut short here on earth and needed assurance
to face the reality of what was ahead. So do we, and help is available
to us. We can "fear not" for this good reason:
- BECAUSE HE CONTROLS THE FUTURE: V19:
- Jesus, unlike fortune tellers, Ouija board users, or astrologers is
not guessing when He talks about the things which will take place in the
future. He knows the end as the beginning. Not only does He know it, but
He has determined the final out come of all history. He wrote the script;
He ordains the end; He controls the future.
- Listen to what John Baillie said, "The Bible indicates that the
future is in God's hands. If it were in our hands, we would make a mess
of it. The future is not in the devil's hands, for then he would lead us
to destruction. The future is not at the mercy of any historical determinism
leading us blindly forward, for then life would be without meaning. But
the future is in the hands of One who is preparing something better than
the eye hath seen, or ear heard, or has entered into the heart of man to
- You have a living hope and don't have to worry about what will happen
today, tomorrow, or in the New Millennium; no calamity, no disaster, no
problem is beyond His foreknowledge and power.
- No lifeless Jesus could give assurance that enables us to face tomorrow
but because He lives, Jesus stands near today to touch you and to say as
He did to John, "Fear not!"
As Jenny spoke to her pastor, he said, "A year ago there came into
your sister's household a tiny baby. Do you remember all that was done
for her? Everyone in the family tried to think of something they could
do for that tiny girl. Dainty dresses and a lacy bassinet were made ready
before she came. Her food was specially formulated, and everyone wanted
to hold and cuddle her. That is the kind of care we give to a new life
when it comes into this world. Well, do you suppose that God is any less
loving than we?" And he assured her of the final reason we can "fear
- BECAUSE HE CARRIES US IN HIS HAND: V20:
- Jesus said in John 10:28 concerning His people, "I
give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall
snatch them out of My hand." As long as we desire to be held in His
hand, nobody can remove us!
- We are like the little boy who was walking along holding hands with
Daddy when he stepped on a patch of ice and his feet shot out from under
him. He was suspended in mid-air by his father's strong arm. The little
boy said, "It's a good thing I holded on real good, huh, Daddy?"
And it was a better thing that Daddy "holded on real good!"
- Jesus Christ holds us in His hand! This signifies:
- His loving favor and delight toward us.
- His protection of us.
- His faithfulness toward us; He won't abandon us!
- No lifeless Jesus could carry us safely in His hand but because He
lives, Jesus stands near today to touch you and to say as He did to John,
As he sought to still Jenny's fears, her pastor continued, "Just
as your baby niece was welcomed into a home prepared for her, in that Home
He is calling you to enter, He too has arranged everything necessary for
your happiness and to make you feel perfectly at ease!" A light broke
over Jenny's face. "I see what you mean," she said. "He
went to 'prepare a place' for ME!" Sometime later, Jenny went to be
with Jesus, but her heart was calm and at peace as she entered that place
prepared by Jesus for all who love Him. Would you like to have that
peace, that assurance, that hope, that joy that even death cannot annul?
Would you like to know that when you breathe your last of earth's atmosphere
you can be at once in the presence of Him who gives eternal life? The plan
is simple. You must believe that Jesus Christ is God's Son. The Bible says,
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not
obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
John 3:36. True believers will want to confess that belief
before men. True believers will turn from Sin in a repentant spirit. True
believers will follow Jesus through the watery grave of Baptism. In that
grave we lay aside our old self and our sin and we rise from it filled
with His spirit, forgiven and born-again. True believers will seek to serve
Him faithfully through all of life. Do you believe this morning? Will you
confess that you do? Will you receive Christ as Lord and Savior? You may
do so right now as we sing our song of invitation, I Need Jesus.
Jenny from NavPress InfoSearch
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