Welcome to our online Bible study on John!
— Read: John 21:15-25 —
By the Sea of Galilee, Jesus appeared to His disciples for the third time after the resurrection. After reinstating Peter, He indicated that Peter in his old age would bring glory to God through death by crucifixion.
Jesus then extended the familiar invitation, “Follow me.” Only this time, it would cost the disciple his life.
Peter knew ahead of time that following the Lord would result in a crucifixion of his own, yet Peter also knew that he could trust Jesus with everything, including his own life. In spite of what the future held for Peter, he went on to establish the early church and proclaim the Good News everywhere he went. But surely there must have been moments when Peter layed awake at night wondering just how painful the crucifixion would be.
Two thousand years later, C.S. Lewis captured the same sort of sentiment when he wrote:
“We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;
we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
I know I can trust God. I know He has His best in mind for me.
Nevertheless, there are still times when I wonder, “What else will I have to go through? How painful will it be?” I want guarantees. My overactive imagination can sometimes get the better of me while fear overwhelms me with terrifying thoughts.
Fear of an unknown future may be understandable, but fear is a tool of the enemy. To combat this fear, I refocus my attention on God’s Word and recite Scripture from memory:
- “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world” (I John 4:4b KJV).
- “God is love . . . There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (I John 4:16b,18a).
- “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (II Corinthians 12:9a).
- “‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’” (Isaiah 41:10).
Without exception, God’s Word brings peace.
Whatever comes my way, I can rest in God’s grace knowing He will see me through.
My “cross” may look differently than someone else’s, but when I keep my focus on Him, I no longer have to worry about how “painful the best will turn out to be.”
— Diving Deeper —
Do you ever experience fear or trepidation over an unknown future?
Do you recite Scripture to combat fear?