Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Be Present At Our Table Lord"1 (Lyrics)
During the last month, we have seen a number of events of terrible carnage in various places: Ankara, Turkey, October 12th – 97 killed, 250 injured; Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, October 31st – a Russian airliner allegedly brought down by terrorists, all 224 aboard killed; Beirut, Lebanon, November 12th – 43 killed, 239 injured. And now, Paris, France, November 13th – at last count 129 killed and more than 350 injured, some in critical condition, in indescribable, well-coordinated attacks at various locations. We are filled with grief at such horrific losses, and with fear that such evil is threatening to take over the world.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
The Word of God is powerful — a wonderful antidote to fear. The devil would love to bind us all up in fear. Whenever we are tempted to fear, simply thank God that He has it all under control — this has not caught Him by surprise. Such an expression of confidence and trust in His power actually releases His power to do amazing things.
Untold millions of people from Syria are leaving their homeland because of the fear of danger to their lives and property, their houses damaged beyond repair, family members and friends killed in air raids, and death and destruction in so many places. There seems to be no end to it.
How well I remember a business trip that I took to Damascus, Syria, in 1973. I stayed in a small hotel in the centre of the city. In the morning, I went to a local shop to look for a souvenir to take home. I befriended a young lad in that store, the owner's son, and he took me on a walking tour of that part of the city, to the market where people still came for their daily vegetables, fish, and meat, and where the old men and women still congregated like they did in Bible times. He took me to the street called Straight where Paul was brought after his conversion on the road to that city. After I finished my stay there, I had to travel to Beirut, Lebanon, with a rented car and driver. There were small villages along the way, with people going to the markets and farmers working in the fields. It was a pleasant drive indeed.
How things have changed! Now we hear of bombings, shootings, and destruction in so many places. We see pictures on television of people sorrowing. Words do indeed fail us, and we pray that God would comfort them. There are well-known passages in the Bible which tell us that in all our problems, God will be with us:
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NKJV)
Psalm 121:1b-2 – Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (NIV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, words do fail us in such events. We pray that those who are grieving as they go through the valley of the shadow of death will be comforted at this time, and that those who are filled with fear may find victory in the promises of Your Word. Speak to the hearts of those who have the ability to make changes on a world scale, so that relief from such huge suffering will come about. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.