Today's encouragement comes from Isaiah 33:14a, where we read these words:
"The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has seized the hypocrites . . . "
The context of the phrase (above) is that the Old Covenant church would be tested and tried in the furnace of affliction. The sincere believers would sub-mit to this, and would come out more purified. The unbelieving hypocrites—who were still in the outward covenant—would *not* do well at all. They would be fearful; and they would prove to be false.
True Christians oftentimes also experience fear; but we are able, by grace, to undergo God's "proving grounds." A hypocrite will never willingly suffer any-thing for the Lord or the true religion. Real believers—though not enjoying it—are always, in the end, willing to do whatever their Savior requires of them.
[Puritan quote of the day: "He who belongs to the Jerusalem above speaks the language of Canaan.” —Thomas Watson, in, "The Great Gain of Godli-ness"]