Existential angst is the ever present low grade anxiety that accompanies us just because we are alive; it is a counterpart to our free will. It rarely goes away completely, and is only partially relieved when we become resolute about a particular course of action, for even when our mind is made up, there remains the necessity of following through on our decisions.
Will we have the courage of our convictions to sustain us in the battle? When the battle is over, will we still be standing for God’s truth?
This is where the example of our predecessors is invaluable. Has anyone else taken on this fight? Has anyone else stood the test? For even when the fight is prescribed by the Word of God and has been lived out by Christ himself and countless others, it remains for us to “run our race, fight our fight, and to keep our faith.” And we need the encouragement of our comrades, past and present, to sustain us in our battles. Even Christ needed the encouragement of his friends when he faced his final test. His test came when he was called upon to take upon himself the sin of the whole world. Our test comes when we are called upon to cast off our own sin and to walk uprightly before Our Maker.
The bad news is that the existential angst may never leave us completely while we are living on planet earth. The good news is that we can be secure in the knowledge that “the genuineness of our faith will produce praise and honor and glory when Christ is revealed.”
That’s right: In the middle of our exultation and wonder at the majesty of the glorified Jesus, we ourselves will be praised, honored, and glorified—all for the simple reason that we gave our lives to Jesus and kept faith with him through thick and thin!
— Brad Heilhecker