“While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety!,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3
The great cry of our present time is “Peace!” ” Safety!” It has become a battle cry, a mantra, an excuse for expressing anger and fear without restraint and an idol.
We all desire peace. We all want our families and ourselves to be safe. But what are we willing to lose at the cost of that? Are we willing to lose our human dignity; to give away our rights and freedoms? Are we willing to lose our faith and the trust we have in the Lord? Do we want to be living in fear, squirreled away from the rest of humanity, hiding from possible dangers that could befall us at any given moment? Is this living?
I have lived most of my life fearing something or other; people, rejection, pain, ridicule, bugs, heights, my children getting hurt, losing a loved one, death, etc., etc.. All of us can make an endless list of our fears. Many of them groundless but some very real.
The thing is and what God has shown me over my 60+ years is I am NOT in control. There is very little I can do to prevent many of these fears but to use my God given common sense and TRUST THE LORD!
Those of us who follow Christ are commanded by the Lord to live in peace as much as possible and love others. Christ also promises to leave us His peace. As my friend Colleen said the other day, the bible says “Fear not” 365 times. Once for each day. Alot of the people in the bible lived in much worse circumstances than most of us, but God said “Fear not.” He says it to us now, in our circumstances.
Now as our Pastor said on Sunday, fear is good at times, like when you are on the edge of a cliff and your mind screams, “MOVE BACK!” However when we let fear rule us we can become irrational and imagine danger where there is none or blow the danger there is out of proportion. Then we end up doing strange and possibly evil things.
In Exodus the Egyptians became afraid of the Israelites because they were numerous and so decided to kill their babies and enslave them.
In the New Testament the Jewish leaders were afraid of losing their positions of power and so they crucified Christ, the very One they had been waiting for!
Fear can make us into monsters if we let it. Fear can keep us trapped in our own minds and homes. We need to be mindful of who or what we are listening to and believing.
“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.” Psalm 91:2-3
“Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
As followers of Christ we are not to be slaves of fear. The Lord has given us His Holy Spirit and His promises. He has given us wisdom through His Word and because of these things we can have peace in our soul, love fearlessly, and live fearlessly.