We Are People of Faith, Not Fear

By Charles W. Pollard
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dr. Pollard discusses courage, perseverance and resiliency from I Chron. 28:20

Dr. Pollard

Dear Friends of JBU,

In my office, I have a framed print of Timothy Botts’ calligraphy of I Chronicles 28:20.  It is the passage in which David encourages Solomon about the building of the temple by saying, “Don’t be frightened by the size of the task. Be strong and courageous and get to work for the Lord my God is with you. He will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly.” It was a gift from my father when I became president at JBU, and it has been a wonderful reminder to me of the source of my strength in facing the challenges of this job.

I also think that this verse nicely captures the courage, perseverance and resiliency that we hope to develop in JBU students. When the resident director stands alongside two roommates in seemingly irreconcilable conflict, she offers the hope of restoring a relationship that may someday serve as an example to save a marriage. When faculty members encourage draft after draft of the business plan or more and more accurate measurements for the senior design project, they encourage the diligence to “get it right” that may later lead to a breakthrough in the overwhelming project at work, in the community, or at church. When a counselor helps a student handle the grief of losing a friendship, she is equipping them to respond to the inevitable future loss of a parent, or a spouse, or a child.
And in each situation, we have the opportunity to teach students that the Lord God is with us and will not forsake us. He will see that everything is finished correctly, not by our standards, but by his standard. That even in failure, and we will face failure living in a world broken by sin, he is at work “to finish” things correctly in the end. 
The stories of JBU alumni in this Brown Bulletin suggest that we are accomplishing that educational goal, at least in part. The alumni in these pages are responding to some of the most daunting challenges in our world with great faith. God has called each of us to be at work with him to accomplish his tasks. Some of those tasks may seem frightening, such as building the temple, or educating women in Afghanistan, or ministering to soldiers at war, or serving women caught in the sex-trade. Other tasks may seem more routine, such as caring for children, or teaching Sunday school, or volunteering in a soup kitchen, or finishing the homework assignment. But whether the task is great or small, God is faithful, and he calls us to be faithful.
We are a people of faith, not of fear, because we know that we serve a God who is at work in this world. May it always be true of us at JBU.

Godspeed,

Dr. Charles W. Pollard
President, John Brown University