Dying is not natural...
It is good to know God never intended humans to die, but it was the consequence of what Adam and Eve did because of trespassing against God (Genesis 3:19). So dying is actually not a natural thing, but quite the opposite! We were not made to die. So having fear of dying is natural! As soon as you realize that at a certain moment you won’t feel, hear, smell, see or be aware of anything it is understandable that you grow in fear. However: when you are death you won’t notice all that at all. Also that you cannot change that fate and that your body will decay and with it all knowledge, skills and loved ones will disappear makes it all the more sad and frightening.
Christians are human too
Maybe you are also feeling less and less comfortable when reading this? Or did you already have some sleepless nights about it? Nights in which you sweat a lot and you feel dizzy and cannot find any sense or reason in it all? Well: this is nothing to be ashamed of. Now you do realize how temporary this life actually is, how glad you are with your body and how nasty dying actually is. Thus you realize how important the here and now is. And then fear becomes very functional and understandable. Nothing to be ashamed of clearly. It can lead you to:
- A better, more active and richer life spiritually;
- A needed focus or change in your life as a Christian;
- An effort of living more healthy;
- Realizing life of others is very precious too;
- Being very grateful for the life and time given to you.
Yet it would get weird, nasty and unlivable when that fear would control and freeze your life completely. Then it would seem that you already died while living. It would take away all joy of life and you would be throwing away valuable time. Time that could have been used enjoying life, getting to know people around you and to be there for them. And of course to help, support, improve situations or fix things. And even more to talk about your faith and being an example of its fruit leading to eternal life. So only very temporary fear can be very useful but when it starts dominating your life it is the worst counselor thinkable.
When the future is not bright and painful...
Especially when in great sorrow, pain or bodily dysfunction another fear emerges: fear of life! Would anyone look for a life filled with suffering bodily or spiritual? Or a life filled with poverty, hunger and persecution? Nobody would. Also in this case it is good to know that degeneration, pain, disease and sorrow were not meant for us. God did not want that for us. So also these unnatural developments were not meant for us, so the fear and aversion are very natural to have than not to have!
Regaining joy of life
Yet here also applies that fear should not control and freeze your life completely. This is also a total waste of time and ruins all possibilities and joy of life. But how to stop that fear and getting rest, self-confidence, restoring faith and enjoying life again?
Self-confidence starts by realizing that you are not weird, strange, silly, daft or stupid with those thoughts and focus. And besides being a Christian that you are human too.
Rest starts with starting to pray again, asking for forgiveness and taking a valerian pill every now and then. Do not give up praying, but show perseverance instead. The same is applicable with reading from your Bible daily; especially Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastics. Also read in your Bible about people in similar circumstances as you are in now. Enjoy going out in nature too, seek for green, sun and light while you walk, run or ride your bicycle.
Regaining faith has also to do with reading your Bible and recognizing that people there were living in similar circumstances as you. They were not perfect either and had no perfect life either. King David for instance writes about his problems, fears, sadness and sorrow, but also how God helps him and what the future brings. Likewise the Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastics provide examples you may relate to in your specific circumstances. But also think about the story of Joseph; betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused of rape, imprisoned and whipped. But also made king under Pharaoh and thus the savior of Egypt and his own family. And the story of Jeremiah, Paul, Peter and Jesus. No stories of people without fear, persecution, pain, suffering and imprisonment. All humans having their hour of need and suffering causing a dip in faith every now and then. So: read that Bible and those stories through your eyes and circumstances and start comparing.
Going on for a Christian means living without fear as a Christian. With daily prayer and reading your Bible, with trust, with thanking for everything given and being there for your fellow man. Whatever happens. Is that possible even when in fear, pain, suffering and setbacks?! Yes: sure it is!
- Paul did so while being stoned, getting whipped, being imprisoned, being told that he had to face persecution and imprisonment. (Acts 20:23-24, Acts 21:10-11);
- All disciples knew they were facing persecution and imprisonment (John 15:18-21, Luke 21:12);
- Christians know in general they also face trials, persecution and suffering just as their Lord Jesus did (Luke 21:12, Mark 9:49).
Moreover Colossians 3:1-4 tell us that you shouldnot keep busy with everything coming from this world, but that Christians have to aim at Heaven and what comes from there and in which you will share. That is glorious and exceeds all our pain and grief!
Does that mean that Christians will not have fear, doubts or grief? No more problems? No more persecutions? No; that will only be after the Return of Jesus. But in these troubled times of End comfort, protection, strength, help and Blessings will be provided through prayers. You will receive what you ask to be able to continue being and staying a Christian; certainly when things get rough and difficult. And in spite of all those hardships there will be ground to thank God and Jesus!