"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
There is a lot to fear in today’s world.
Every morning I check in with the news and survey my local scene, the national picture and the global status. It seems everywhere I look there is uncertainty about the future. Unemployment remains high, especially among the young. I was struck this morning by an article saying that in America, 20 percent of youth are jobless and the prospects for this year’s graduating class are not good.
People are holding the line on debt but not ready to spend a great deal of money. Some say another round of home foreclosures is coming. This would threaten another round of problems for financial institutions whose plans and strategies are tied to these loans.
This morning President Obama signed a nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia. It is hoped this will lessen the prospect of nuclear war. Yet rogue states like Iran push forward with their plans to develop nuclear weapons. Everyone knows what this would do for the stability of the Middle East.
But then you have fears as well. You know what they are, as they are much closer to your everyday life than the news items I mentioned above. We all have fears we live with daily and try to manage as we go about our everyday lives. This week’s newsletter is not so much about world news and prophecy as it is about what might happen in your life or mine today, tomorrow or next week. Sometimes that is what’s on our mind and matters the most.
Christ understood fear. On the night before His death He gathered with His disciples and gave them encouragement to go on with life and the mission of the Church. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
Christ’s promise of peace comes from the power of the Holy Spirit. It comes from a deep abiding contact with God. That is the best and most rewarding source of strength for any of us in fighting back the challenges that life throws our way. We can read a lot of good material from insightful authors and teachers. But in the end it is the lifeline to the Creator God that matters most of all.
The Bible is full of many examples of men and women who conquered fear and met their challenges. One of my favorites is that of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was confronted by an invading Assyrian army bent on destroying his nation. When he received a hostile letter from the Assyrian leader full of threats, Hezekiah did something quite different from what a modern statesman might do. He took the letter and went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. He then asked God to save the people and the nation (Isaiah 37:14-20).
God did answer Hezekiah’s prayer. Judah was spared. What I find encouraging here is the contrast between the hostile, discouraging words of the Assyrian and the uplifting words of Hezekiah’s prayer. Words can cause fear and words can strengthen and empower. Prayer to God is a way forward through the fear of the moment. Remember Christ said He would give His peace. The way to achieve that peace is through contact with Him as the living Word of God.
The news headlines and the challenges of our lives can cause us fear. The key to mastering fear lies in the words and teachings of God from the Bible. Make sure you are using that source of strength, and you can face down any of the giants that dominate your path. It is God’s promise to you.