Whether it’s ISIS, al Qaeda, ebola, H1N1, SARS or nuclear weapons, Christians should be the least scared, it seems to me. We take all of these quite seriously, to be sure, doing all we can to promote peace, reconciliation, health and well-being, but we should not be fearful.
Jesus said there would be war and disease.* We should not be surprised by these realities. Instead we should trust that we are in God’s hands as we serve others and take care of the vulnerable. If we are scared, lets spend less time watching TV and more time (a) reading the Bible and (b) serving in our communities. It is natural and normal to be afraid, but Jesus never said the life of a disciple is “natural and normal.”
*”And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. SEE THAT YOU ARE NOT TROUBLED [emphasis added]; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:6-8)
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:28-31)
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.'” (Luke 12:22)
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“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.” (1 John 4:18)
God, help me to trust you today. Grow love and faith in my heart so fear has no quarter. Use me today to be a blessing to others. And may Jesus return and make right what I do not have the power to change.
NOTE: I’ll add that those verses grew in importance to me during my grad studies in peace. We didn’t learn about daisies and drum circles. We studied genocide, torture, war, poverty and other gross abuses of human rights. I was overwhelmed with the evil lurking in the human heart and the vulnerability of humanity. Jesus knew all of this and more and still said to trust him and not to fear. Even so, come Lord Jesus!