Monday, November 12, 2012

Frightful Possibilities


Frightful possibilities loom on our horizon these days. 

Politics is scary.  International terrorism is scary.  Morality is scary.  Economics is scary.  The pressure to be afraid is on, now as never before, because our technological advances allow evil to happen on an increasingly global scale, and, also because of technology, we cannot ignore what's going on around us anymore.  

There is no place to hide.

Wait.  There is One place.  One secure place.  One only.  And because of that, for the Christian, fear is a wrong reaction, now more than ever. 

God has been so faithful for so many millennia.  He will not change.  In this world of ever-increasing threats and challenges, He is still in control.  He knows the end from the beginning, and He is not worried.  He has already established the outcome, and, as His creation was good in the beginning, so will his outcome be in the end.  

He rides in triumph over the tumultuous seas of our world, and of our lives.

But lately, in spite of these truths,  I have managed to live on top of the fear only by breathing the commands of Joshua 1:9 to myself constantly. 

God says to Joshua, and to us,

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

As Christians, we are the only ones who need not fear, no matter what comes.  Because of Jesus, our souls are firmly anchored in a glorious, eternal future.  As we stand tall in that security, we are a testimony to God's goodness and faithfulness.  We are beacons that God will use to draw others to Himself.

What Bible verses do you rely on to give you strength and courage as you face today's challenges?  There are so many good ones.  Let's collect them.  If you comment with your favorites, I'll re-post.  We need to remind each other and ourselves of the great goodness and wisdom and power of our God, more and more as we see the day approaching.

In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul says: 
I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.
But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, from The Message (MSG), via Bible Gateway: