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Jesus said that in the last days some men’s hearts will fail them for fear of what is coming in this world (Luke 2:26). He also gave the solution which is to ‘Stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (v.28).
Instead, the more we focus on the things of this world the more the fear increases. We can become like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car with nowhere else to look. We’re sure to get hit if we don’t heed His advice to look UP. The answers are coming from heaven.
In these end times everything that’s been hidden in places of darkness is about to be exposed. It’s beyond imagination how some people can commit such vile acts against others, especially children. To look too much into it is to have our hearts and minds seared with the pain of having to even contemplate it. Yet some are put in positions of authority to expose it and save as many as possible. We reach a point where we feel wrong if we don’t take it all seriously, but at the same time we need to not get so focused on it that we are sucked into a black hole of fear.
The fear itself is the problem. The whole gospel is about being perfected in the love of God. He calls us to love Him with all our hearts and minds and strength, and love our neighbours as ourselves. The so-called love chapter – 1 Corinthians 13 – teaches that whatever else we do, if we’re not motivated by love then it’s all for nothing. And 1 John 4:18 says “perfect love drives out fear. The one who fears is not made perfect in love because fear has to do with punishment.” Our whole lives are impacted by whether or not we allow fear to tell us what to do, versus faith expressed through love.
A good rule of thumb in dealing with evil is to only go as far as we can while being motivated by the love of God. Jesus taught us about the need to forgive others so we can be forgiven ourselves. He said we should love even our enemies, pray for them, and bear each other’s burdens. In this way the love keeps flowing in our hearts to flush out all the fear.
It doesn’t work the other way around. When we witness evil and get so angry that we’re consumed by it, we risk becoming part of the problem. The increasing evil gives way to depravity which makes it impossible to keep loving. Then it’s important to take time to discern God’s will for us personally. Jesus said “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and everything else will be added” (Matthew 6:33). When we do this we get things into proper perspective so we know how to have maximum impact for God’s Kingdom.
Romans 12:1-2 says “Therefore, I urge you in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Once we understand God’s will for us personally He’ll walk us through the worst of evil in this world, one day at a time. It will be done in a way that we have great impact for His Kingdom, and His love continues to pour into our hearts so that we can pour it out to others.
It takes great discipline to turn off the bad news. Stop spending all the time on the internet and feeding on scary information that we don’t even need to know. Things that are happening in other parts of the world aren’t necessarily taking place where we are. To make a point of taking it all in anyway is to render ourselves unable to handle what’s taking place around us. Knowing the will of God for us, one day at a time, makes all the difference.
We need to deliberately choose to block fear from our hearts. When we hear bad news or see it on the computer or TV, make a conscious effort to shield our hearts from the fear. Have specific scriptures written out to remind us of how to have faith and rise above the trials. Put on praise and worship music which invites the Presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. Reach out to others and share love through a phone call, a gift or a hug. Keep the love going and pray for God to help us flush all fear out of our hearts so we can always be part of the solutions rather than making bad things worse.
“Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).