One of the important things Christians have which the non-believers in the world do not have is an understanding of things yet to come. God does not leave His people in the dark. He wants them to know what is going on and this has always been the case.
In this section of scripture, the ship on which Paul was sailing had been in storms for many days. The sailors had thrown the cargo and the tackle from the boat overboard in an effort to keep the ship afloat. But they now believed all would be lost and were resigned to shipwreck and drowning at sea.
But then we see that the angel of The Lord appeared to Paul telling him that although the ship and all it's goods would be lost, The Lord granted that there would be no loss of life. And this is one of the ways that The Lord always keeps his people informed so that they do not need to fear like the non-believers in this world do.
Consider the words of the bible for a moment. A great deal of what is written in both the old and new testaments is prophecy. The purpose of prophecy is to for tell events yet to come, and we have seen how some of these have been fulfilled, especially those old prophesies concerning the first coming of the saviour who we now know and recognise as Jesus Christ.
But there are also many other prophecies relating to the second coming and the events, many of which would be quite terrifying if they just suddenly occurred.
The point of these prophecies is first to announce and show the signs of His second coming, but also to give His people early warning of the things to come so that they are not surprised or shocked. The people of The Lord do not need to fear the events that are coming on the world for they have been pre-warned and can be mentally, spiritually and physically prepared for the things to come.
And it is the same with the gifts of prophecy given in the churches today to those people whom The Lord has given the gift of prophecy. The point of those prophecies is again, to let His people know what is coming so they understand what The Lord is doing.
When we have the knowledge and insight of the things to come, we do not need to fear as the world does.
When the unbelievers in the world see events like drastic weather events, earthquakes, wars and insurrection, they are filled with fear. But Christians have no need to fear and rather they take comfort in these things knowing that The Lord has said they must take place before the second coming. Indeed all of these events herald the greatest event of all, that Jesus will soon return to reward His people and to remove all forms of evil from this world.
The knowledge we receive through the scripture and prophecy gives us comfort, especially when we see the things spoken come to pass. It is sure proof and evidence of the word of God and the fulfilment of the plans God set in motion from the beginning of time.
And this is why we take comfort in the words of God. It is His will and pleasure to keep His people informed so that we have no need to fear as the rest of the world does.
It was once said to me that the two words “Fear Not” are written in the bible 365 times, that is, once for every day of the year. Having checked whether this is so I can say that this is not the case, at least not in the translation I normally use.
But… These two words are written many, many times in the bible and they represent an important principle that The Lord teaches His people.
The Lord does not want His people to live in fear of anything. And that is why He gives us pre-warning and insights into what is about to happen so that we do not need to fear. We see the apostle John speak of fear in this way in 1 John 4:17-18.
17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Fear has to do with punishment. People fear being punished, as is normal, and they fear the unknown. But in God's love He has made the unknown to be known and has removed the punishment due to those who sin when a person comes to Jesus Christ. Thus fear is likewise banished as we seek The Lord and worship God who has made these things possible and given us the insight to see what His work and His plans are.
God does not want you to be in the dark. God wants you to know what He is doing so that, just like Paul in this section of scripture, we know what is happening and can take heart as The Lord's plans unfold, fully convinced in the knowledge that by His might and power we will be protected.
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