John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (NIV)
It's been said that fear, greed, and/or a desire for power rule the world. Let's consider for a moment how fear affects the world — and particularly us as individual believers. There is truly just cause for fear in today's world. War, crime, disease outbreaks, natural disasters, financial crises, environmental dangers, work hazards, stressful relationships — even just stepping out of our front door or driving down the road — can cause blood pressure to skyrocket each and every day.
Empires can rise and fall with these shock waves of fear. As fear mounts, solutions to these problems are desperately sought. We've all seen him — life's Sad Sack, worriedly wringing his hands as he scurries along, darting from shelter to shelter, furtively looking at everything around him as a disaster waiting to happen. He obsesses over fear of both the known and the unknown. His goal in life is to avert all danger at all cost.
Our society provides many tools for averting such danger. Insurance can be purchased to cover nearly any eventuality. Deadbolts, chain-link fences, burglar alarms, motion sensor lights, pepper spray, car alarms — and on and on — are intended to keep the bad guys away from us. Banks should protect our hard-earned money. We expect policemen, fire fighters, and soldiers — and guns and pit bulls — to keep us safe.
So how should we — as followers of Christ — deal with this universal sense of fear that seems to be inevitable and pervasive? We can buy into the philosophy that we must do everything possible to prevent anything bad happening to us. Or… we can entrust our lives to our heavenly Father who knows all about the dangers all around us. Though it is only prudent to be cautious and aware of danger around us, we need not be fearful of the future and obsessed with all kinds of protective mechanisms.
I try to be realistic about life's dangers — big or small — but I'd prefer taking a few calculated risks to being so cautious that I can't move. If I feel that I need to be constantly looking over my shoulder, I can become paranoid and a prisoner of my own defenses. How much better it is to enjoy freely the joys and blessings that God has provided for us, trusting Him to guard our steps.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You have made us and the world around us. There truly is danger at every turn, but You have promised to care for us and to keep us safe in Your loving arms. Thank You that You watch over us night and day — regardless of time zones! Amen.
Psalm 121:3 – He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber. (NIV)
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