I read my niece’s facebook entry last week –
“I took my daughter to a movie today and immediately eyed the exit as one of my first thoughts was, ‘What if someone comes in shooting?’ “
She went on to reiterate other situations where she was becoming more vigilant, all the while realizing that many people across the world live in
“… constant credible terror. I wish the world were only filled with love,” she said.
I taught our Sunday School class at church last Sunday by beginning a new series called “Faith > Fear.” Oh that we would work toward faith greater than our fears. The lesson started in the beginning—the Garden of Eden.
Yes, there was a time when all was “filled with love.” The beautiful garden was the picture of peace and harmony, but the tempter reared his beguiling head. God chose to make his creation in His image with the gift of choice. Eve chose to engage with the tempter, who opened her mind to doubt, her heart to desire, which led her will to disobedience. Thus the downward spiral began.
The terrorists of today, like those through the centuries, are not filled with love, but are driven by hate. The Almighty God, who created our universe and everything in it, sent His Son in human form so that we might understand this love. God IS love. Jesus said in a hundred ways, “They will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”
So how do we deal with this fear that looms in technicolor every time we see one more new’s story about 15 people shot here, 120 bombed there, a truck swerving to kill over 100 innocent people as they watch the fireworks, or 6 police officers gunned down. We had been seeing a report about every other month; now it seems weekly, or even daily.
I believe a part of the frustration and anxiety is the fact that we feel so little control. Too many people, too many nations, too many unknowns. When we feel we have no control, the fear begins to terrorize us. Indeed, we have little, if any control over these situations; we only have control over our feelings about it. John takes us right back to love.
… But perfect love drives out fear. I John 4:18
I struggle with facing my fears about current conditions. I know I don’t have the strength on my own. I read reports of Christians in war-torn countries who are being beheaded, burned to death, stabbed in front of their children, or drug into the sex slavery trade. Many of them determine ahead of time that they as individuals or as family units will refuse to denounce their Christian faith.
I can not come to that kind of faith without praying for God’s strength to help me face my fears, can you? It’s best we start practicing!
For this week, I close with this quote:
Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to forge ahead and refuse to be paralyzed by our fears. Dennis Wiles
FAITH > FEAR
~ Joyce ~