Yesterday was a dreadful day across the world: Paris, Baghdad and Beirut suffered terrorist attacks – not to mention the ongoing suffering of those in areas controlled and attacked by these groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram. There was also a powerful earthquake in Japan that brought back the fear caused by the 2011 tsunami. There are so many things I want to write about connected to this that I could be here all day even if you all stopped reading because tldr. So I will go with my gut and talk about fear. I did write about this before but daily it seems we live in a world where fear is the tool used to try and control us.
The terrorists use terror. Watching the news, a question that was asked several times was ‘Were there no security measures at the doors? Did you go through a metal detector?” This wasn’t about an airport or government base but a concert hall. Do we really need to live in a world where we have to use metal detectors at the doors of any gathering place? Some schools in the US already have them. Will every restaurant and bar and cinema and playground need them? I could talk about other fears and their effect: climate change, vaccinations, AIDS, cancer, helicopter parents to name just a few. We fear our neighbours, we fear people in other countries becoming our neighbours, we fear economic disaster, we fear change, we fear the lack of change, we fear missing out by not being there, we fear becoming too busy.
So what’s the answer? As a Christian I believe the answer is Jesus. He promises peace not in the world, not in society but in our hearts. One day He will bring peace to the whole world because He is the Prince of Peace but for now He brings peace to me so that I can minister it to others.
When I look at the world and I hear about wars and rumours of wars, I hear about earthquakes and famines my mind goes to Matthew 24 and Mark 13 and Luke 21. But on a human level I look and I think there is no way we can sort this out. What we need is someone to stand up and be a leader to sort it all out. The world is so small, so interconnected, so easily navigated that we have pretty much become a global village, a nation and one leader would be ideal to oversee that. Again I see Jesus but there is another leader I believe and he will not be a prince of peace, nor benevolent no matter how it appears at first. I’m not saying these are the End Times, I am saying that Jesus pointed out signs to be aware of and I am trying to be aware while continuing to run the race.
12 So since we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before, an enormous cloud of witnesses, let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us.2 Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.
Endurance and focus – these are key to my life; to a life lived for Him.
When life is dark, a light will shine for those who live rightly—
those who are merciful, compassionate, and strive for justice.
He is the light of the world, come to bring the hope of a new life to everyone. There are people rejecting prayer for Paris because religion is the cause of these atrocities. But Jesus didn’t come to bind us up in religion He came to bring justice, compassion and mercy.
He is the hope of Peace now and forever. A Peace that is beyond our understanding but that guards our hearts and minds here and now. If you know Jesus as your Saviour then that hope and peace should be radiating from you to everyone you meet. Check your beam isn’t fogged by fear. If you do not know Him and you are tired of living in fear then ask me or others you know who are Christians. He really is the answer.