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Saturday, November 7, 2015
You Can Worry, or You Can Worship BY RICK WARREN — NOVEMBER 7, Saturday
“If you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:14-15 NLT, second edition)
Christianity is not for weaklings, wimps, or the faint of heart. It takes courageous men and women to follow Jesus.
People all over the world are suffering like we will never suffer as Americans. But what is it costing you to follow Christ? It’s unlikely you’ll ever have to deal with violent oppression. But you deal with silent repression every single day as our culture becomes more and more secularized and anti-Christian.
When you are faced with opposition because of your faith, it’s natural to feel afraid. So how do you get rid of the fear of opposition? How do you get rid of the fear of disapproval? How do you get rid of the fear of being rejected?
You need to be filled with God’s love. The Bible says there’s no fear in love and perfect love casts out all fear. When you face opposition, you focus on God’s love for you. People who rest in the assurance of God’s love aren’t afraid of rejection. They aren’t afraid of disapproval.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:14-15, “If you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it” (NLT, second edition).
There are two alternatives when you feel pressured to be quiet about your faith in Christ: You can worry, or you can worship. That means you either panic or you pray. You either focus on the problem and the pressure and the persecution, or you can focus on God.
You have to turn your attention away from the pressure you feel and turn it toward God. That’s what worship is — focusing on God. When you face opposition, worship instead of worry.