It’s a fact of life: the fear of death is one of the first and most powerful enemies that we are called to conquer.
It was Christ’s first temptation after he had fasted for 40 days.
Jesus chose obedience to God over self preservation, and so can we.
It is written: “Perfect love casts out fear.” Somehow, through our faith and hope in Christ, there must be a perfect love to be found.
Jesus found it; Paul the apostle seems to have found it; both of them were able to face enormous opposition and still persevere by some invisible, mysterious, powerful, and passionate love that drove them on. Each of them faced rejection, ridicule, and torture; and each of them kept right on loving, praying, and preaching.
So, if “perfect love casts out fear,” how do we obtain this perfect love?
I suggest that there is only one way: absolute abandonment to the cause of Christ.
If there was an easier way, you know one of us would have found it by now. God knows that we have looked. Sedatives, friendships, lovers, solitude, hard work, a life of leisure—it just seems plausible that a correct combination of all of these good things would do the trick.
They all work for a time, but eventually the specter of death shows up uninvited and unwelcome, and he does not leave until we say with Christ, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Or we can say with Paul, “To live is Christ; to die is gain.”
Christ is indeed “the way, the truth, and the life!”
~ Brad Heilhecker