[The following testimony is written by a new believer at our local church. What a great example of the biblical principle that it is peace with God---through faith in Christ---that produces the peace of God!]
For the past twenty years, I’ve traveled to many parts of the world as a result of my job responsibilities. I’ve enjoyed learning about new places and making new friends. However, there was one part of the journey that I didn’t enjoy….and that was getting there. You see, I was scared to fly. I understand that statistics are on my side when it comes to air travel (as it’s undoubtedly the safest way to travel), but the problem wasn’t one of statistics; rather it was a problem with my faith, my understanding of God and his plan for my salvation through the blood of Christ.
To combat my fear of flying I drank alcohol. If my flight was at six in the morning, I had a couple of stiff drinks at five-thirty (just before I got on the plane). I also drank during the flight to maintain the necessary level of inebriation that would keep me calm. People would often ask me why I was so frightened and I would simply tell them I was afraid to die. It should be understood; however, that my fear of death wasn’t associated with the idea of crashing and the physical pain that would result (I don’t believe in the idea of people dying “instantly”). Instead, it was the fear that I had not lived my life in a proper way and I would be rejected by God as a result of my sins. Sitting on the plane (with the clouds beneath my feet) brought forth my own mortality and forced my thoughts to everything that’s really important. I don’t believe I’m alone with these fearful thoughts. Often times, as I would head to the back of the plane to use the restroom (keep in mind I was drinking during the flight) and in route, down that long aisle, I would see the faces of other scared passengers (particularly, if the flight was turbulent). As the face is the outward image of the mind, many of these people were going through the same level of anxiety I was experiencing.
About one year ago, I left my childhood religion (Roman Catholic) and started to worship God through a focus on reading the Bible. I began attending Immanuel Bible Church and started to receive explanation of Scripture, thereby gaining greater understanding of God’s word from the pastors who have studied the Bible. God’s words—through their preaching—entered my mind and settled into my heart. Without even thinking about it I started flying without drinking alcohol. When I realized this it truly came as a surprise to me that I had flown to and fro without the mental reminder of needing a drink! Instead, I sat on the plane…reading the Bible with no anxiety about flying. I’ve now flown several times without a thought of my own demise—and without a drop of alcohol. Instead, I have peace of mind about God’s law and His plan for my salvation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. I now realize God will accept me through Jesus and thus have lost my fear of losing my life. The Scripture which freed my mind and changed my heart is Romans, chapter 5, verses 8 through 11 which reads as follows.
But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Listen to a sermon on this passage here.