Try and imagine living in a land where you were not free to worship who you wanted, when you wanted, or how you wanted. Imagine living in constant fear that you would be beaten to death if you were found worshipping in a manner not authorized by the authorities of that city, state, or nation. Envision having to go into the back room of someone’s business or in the basement of your house so you would not be seen or heard in order to worship. What if you were caught with a Bible in your belongings and you were arrested or killed on the spot? Talk about a life of fear. Sadly, there are Christians around the world that live in this kind of terror.
Christians that stand firm in their faith no matter what the circumstance are admirable. They remind me of Daniel who continued to worship God even when the decree had been signed to throw anyone into the lions’ den petitioning any god or man other than the king (Daniel 6:10). Stephen, in Acts 6-7, spoke the truth among a hostile crowd who stoned him. These men and others like them did and surely can find comfort in the wise man’s words, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught” (Proverbs 3:25–26, ESV). Some versions render, “Have no fear…” This is certainly easier said than done.
Can we really have no fear when our lives are in danger? There may not be a verse in the Bible that will keep your heart from skipping a beat when an oppressor sticks a gun in your face for worshipping God. This is not Solomon’s intent, but rather to give hope. We can have assurance in whatever circumstance we are put in as Christians because we have the Lord on our side. When God is on one’s side, there is great reason to have no fear of our eternal destination. Our lives may be cut short on account of our faith like was threatened to Daniel and carried out with Stephen, but those men did what they did because they had the confidence of the God on their side. They said what needed to be said and did what needed to be done and God rewarded them both: Daniel an escape from the lions and Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. What a great thought to have no tears or fears in Heaven!