When the rubber meets the road

Today we are going to talk about fear and what to do when we get afraid. We all get afraid. We all react to things that scare us. Some people get afraid more than others, but we all get afraid.

When we get afraid the best thing for us to do is to trust in God. We should put our faith in Him and believe that He is going to help us out of the situation that we are in. Faith is better than fear. Faith can defeat fear. Let us look at what Jesus said about fear.

In the Bible we read a story about a woman who was very sick. She reached out and touched Jesus and then got healed: “(Jesus) kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

This woman who touched Jesus and then got healed was very afraid. I don’t know why she was afraid, but she was. Jesus turned to her and said “God in peace”. Jesus was telling her not to be afraid.

There a man named Jairus in the Bible whose daughter was very sick. He went to Jesus and asked him to heal his daughter. But while he was there talking to Jesus, the man’s servant came and told him that his daughter had died. Jesus turned to the man and said: “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”

Again, when fear came into someone’s heart, Jesus told them, “Don’t be afraid.” This is message I would like you to drink into your heart today, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”

If you are a Somali Christian then you are blessed. You have received the forgiveness of yours sins. You have received eternal life. You are going to heaven and you have the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ with you always. You have nothing to be afraid of. But, now that you are a Christian there are fights with the devil. Your family is very angry with you. You have to hide from certain people because they want to hurt you. You are now a Christian and your life might be in danger. You are facing trouble. Now is the time when you need to have faith instead of fear.

There is a saying in English that goes like this: “When the rubber meets the road.” This saying means that there are times when things will get difficult, like a true test, and God will see where your heart is: are you going to stay faithful to Jesus, or give up your faith because you do not want to be persecuted. This is a time when the rubber meets the road.

When the rubber meets the road is a saying that can be used when it is time for a really big exam. You have studied a long time. You think you are ready. Then you sit down to write the exam: it is time for the rubber to meet the road.

The rubber meeting the road means when the rubber of a car tire is on the road. If your tires are very bald, without any tread or traction, they are going to slip on the road. If your faith is weak, and you are not grounded in Jesus, then you are going to slip away from your faith.

Daniel was a man in the Bible who would not stop worshipping God and praying to Him. One day he was arrested for praying to the true God and he was thrown into the lion’s den. His enemies wanted the lions to eat him. They took him and threw him into the pit. Daniel did not stop believing in God. He did not stop believing in Jesus. Daniel’s faith was stronger than his fear. The rubber met the road, and Daniel won. He remained faithful to God.

Maybe you are a Somali Christian and someone in your family just found out about your faith. Now they want to kick you out of the family. They want to stop helping you financially. They want to make fun of you. And maybe you are starting to feel a little bit afraid. Maybe you have a lot of fear in your heart and you have to make a decision: are you going to keep your faith in Jesus and trust that He is going to take care of you, or are you going to give into your fears and stop being a Christian?

Lord Jesus help us all to keep believing in Jesus Christ even when we are persecuted. May you not give up your faith because of fear. Jesus said that we should not afraid of those who can kill our bodies, but we should be make sure we keep believing in God who has the power to throw our souls and spirits into hell. My dear Somali brother or sister – do not stop believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

Jesus said: what is it worth if a person gets to keep everything in the whole world, and they become the richest person on earth, but they lose their soul, and their soul goes to hell? What good is that? What good is it if you have a big house and all the food you want, but you lose your salvation?

My dear brothers and sisters. This world is temporary. Your clothes, money, house, cars, earrings – even your husband or wife is temporary. There is no marriage in heaven. You will know your husband, or wife, but you will not be married to him or her in heaven. Your bank account will be gone. Your body will be replaced with a new body. Everything brothers and sisters will be gone.

I saw myself walking upon the water
I saw many fish jump up and be my friends
I saw islands, and boats, the stars, and sky
I was full with hope and love.

Then I saw myself walking toward the horizon
Farther and farther I walked upon the sea
I saw myself walking farther and becoming smaller and smaller.

Fear and sorrow gripped my soul
I was disappearing over the horizon
My life was ending and everything I had was left behind.

My brothers and sisters, I urge you, hold onto your faith in Jesus Christ. Do not give up believing in Him. The evil one is already in the world trying to discourage you, trying to deceive you, trying to get you to give up your faith in Jesus. But don’t do it. No matter the cost. Don’t give up eternal life for something temporary. Life consists of more than the things that we own. The value of a person is not how much money he has, or how may houses he has, or how big his or her salary is. A person has value if they believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. A person has value if they are saved.

How can I convince you that dying for Jesus Christ is worth it? How can I teach you that the things of this world are a lie? They are not true. They do not last. Only heaven and God’s word will last forever and are true.

I remember I used to have Bible studies with one Somali man every week. And many times when we met I would tell him: “I am so glad we meet to read the Bible. All week we hear so many lies, so many people want to harm us, or steal from us. But when we get together to read the Bible, we know that we are reading something true and something very valuable and pure.

So, my dear Somali brothers and sisters, keep the faith.