We live in frightening times. Radical Islamic militants declared a caliphate in 2014 in Iraq and Syria that extends to people of western nations they consider infidels. In 2015 alone, we’ve witnessed airliners downed, orchestrated attacks in Paris and Beirut, Christians murdered for their faith and more. All murdered for their lifestyle and values because they differed from the belief’s of these attackers.
We call these offenders terrorists because their heinous actions incite terror in our hearts and minds. Let’s step back and look at this rationally. Fear is our true enemy in these times.
I was pleased to see Sunday’s headline, Parisians: We Are Not Afraid. A woman attending Tuesday’s football match summed up the sentiment in France. “We are not afraid of terrorism … we are here to say that we are not afraid and that life should go on …” (See England v France Football Game). Back in January, nearly four million Parisians gathered in a unity march subsequent to the killing of 17 journalists, cartoonists, shoppers and police officers by three home-grown terrorists. After a minute’s silence they roared, “We are not afraid!”
While this is a great reaction, shouting these words alone are not enough to vanquish my own anxious thoughts. As a Christian, I rely on the truth of my God’s word to guide, comfort, calm and refocus my fearful mind.
We know that fear does not come from God (2 Timothy 1:7) and that God’s perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Let’s consider that verse: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Therefore, every time I begin to think too much about bad guys … really evil people who maim and murder, I pray Psalm 91. You know it and you pray it … maybe you’ve memorized it. Today as I prayed it over my beloved America, over service personnel, military bases and their families … I saw something with new eyes.
In the Living Bible, Psalm 91:14-16 God is speaking. Let His words soak into your mind today:
For the Lord says, “Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name. 15 When he calls on me, I will answer; I will be with him in trouble and rescue him and honor him. 16 I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation.”
God Almighty has promised to protect those who love Him. Why some have perished at the hands of evil men is not my concern. Those questions serve only to pull us off into fear laden wandering. I am moved not by what I see, but by faith!
I am at rest in His love. There is no fear in love. There is no fear in the presence of God. I know that Yahweh will not break the covenant that He made with man – to love us, to protect us, save and redeem us. May you know this deep, abiding love today – the love of the Father, His Son Jesus and their Spirit. May you sense that they are with you … that they know your name, know your every anxious thought (PS 139) and that the plans they have for you are good. I pray you align your thoughts to the way God thinks about you. His thoughts toward you are “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11). ♥ Shalom.