People praying in Church in China.
There’s a lot of scary stuff out there. So many stresses and pressures that we have to contend with. There are legitimate threats and dangers in our world today. Fear is in the air all around us.
There is uncertainty in our country and around the world. Political strain, threats from terrorism, uncertainty about the future and about those who are in positions of leadership—and all of the garbage that the news media puts in front of our eyes each day.
Not only are there global fears; there are personal fears as well. There is so much
fear about so many things.
… John 14 tells us of a time when the disciples were afraid. Jesus had dropped a bombshell on them. He said something that turned their world, as they knew it, upside down. He revealed that He would be betrayed, that He was going away, and that they not could come with Him.
But then He went on to share some words to bring calm in place of fear: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1 NLT). He didn’t say, “Mull over your problems.” Rather, He said, “Don’t be troubled.”
Contrary to Christian concepts Laurie shares, China’s President Xi Jinping encourages fear. He stated that China plans to “maintain an indomitable fighting spirit—”not fearing hardship [n]or death.” Consequently, the People’s Liberation Army [PLA]must train soldiers in actual combat situations…. Under Xi, the fear of religion, a fear inherent to all totalitarian systems, produces an extensive, meticulously planned national anti-religion strategy with a myriad of moving parts.
Bob Fu, PhD., founder of ChinaAid, notes:
Under Xi, the fear of religion, a fear inherent to all totalitarian systems, produces an extensive, meticulously planned national anti-religion strategy with a myriad of moving parts.
My early years in China birthed a barrage of firsthand experiences which overtly contributed to my decision to share concerns regarding those who currently live there. As a survivor of persecution and imprisonment in China, and personal interactions with many who have experienced persecution for their religious beliefs, I empathize with those experiencing horrific repercussions from the State-sponsored activities of the[Chinese Communist Party] CCP. Interactions between the motives and rights of the church (religion) as opposed to the motives and rights of the State not only create appalling ramifications but also critical contemporary concerns that challenge citizens in China not only locally but also globally (p.10).*
- On the morning of March 16, 19 other Christians of Ren’ai Reformed Church and I gathered in Room 1702 of Yuli Plaza Wing B, located in Guiyang City, to begin their three-day retreat. At 9 am, Chen Jianguo had just finished reading Philippians 1:14–18 to the others: “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much bolder to speak the word without fear.”
Brother Yun, also known as The Heavenly Man, reminds Christians that the devil instills and feeds fear. He said:
Instead of receiving eternal life, those who serve him receive eternal damnation. Today, as fears run rampant, and bad news continually bombards us, some people are afraid to come out of their homes. Some even lock themselves in a room, fearful to venture outside. Fear, I believe, must be from the devil.
Words from Brother Yun , as well as the words revealing the meaning of Brother Yang’s chosen name, “looking up to Jehovah [God/Jesus],” encourage Christians not to fear. Even if someone tells them as they told Brother Yang , “Believe it or not, I can beat you to death,” God’s children have no reason to fear. Instead, God’s Word for Christians in the United States, in China, throughout the world repeatedly resounds—choose faith.