God’s forgiveness obliterates the past and permits us to enter the land of new beginnings

Published 2:09 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I’m never timid when it comes to sharing my opinions, but when it comes to speaking up for Jesus and taking my stand, fear brings me to my knees — and not to pray. Some tell me my cowardice is sin. Is it? — C.C.
Dear C.C.: The chairman of the history department of one of the great universities once stated: “We have become a nation of cowards.” He argued that many people are reluctant to follow a course if it isn’t popular. This is often true.
Even if deep inside we know something to be right, we often draw back because we are afraid of the consequences. If the odds are in our favor, we will take a stand; but if there is any risk involved in standing up for what we know to be right, we will play it safe and remain silent.
How different from the early believers in Jesus Christ. They boldly proclaimed the Gospel in the face of hostility, persecution, scorn, and even death. The Apostle Paul knew the key: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
The Apostle Peter acted with cowardice and denied Jesus the night He was betrayed in Gethsemane. Peter’s heart was anguished and broken. He repented and with God’s help he turned around and boldly proclaimed Christ until the day of his own death.
In one bold stroke, God’s forgiveness obliterates the past and permits us to enter the land of new beginnings. We may never face the same dangers but we must not take the road of cowardice and take the road of fear. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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