“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” John 14:27
America is beset with an apocalyptic mindset. We have more fears today, than I have ever imagined. Without question we have some good reason to feel this way. The fall of the twin towers at the hands of a mindless evil still stuns us. Terrorism is with us to stay. A financial collapse. We have real reasons to be afraid.
Of course we have the Mayans to thank for the latest end-of-the-world prediction, which means I have only one more GraceWaves to write. I have trouble putting any stock in a prediction if the culture that made it failed to note that it would be wiped out centuries earlier. You would think one of them picked up that. Personally, I am certain God would not allow the world to end during basketball season. But if we do survive then we only have a few days until THE FISCAL CLIFF!
TV program has picked up on and amplified the hysteria. Hysteria sells. I’m a big Discovery Channel and History Channel guy. The line-up feeds on fear. Destroyed in Seconds and Shockwave show live destruction. Storm Chasers and Wrath of God (God needs a better pr man) show natural disasters. Monster Quest is about giant spiders, snakes, hogzilla, sasquatch (all bigfoot experts/researchers dress in flannel). UFO Hunters! Now there is a real fear.
So much fear. So much anxiety. That’s the problem. We are anxious people. Without question anxiety does not mesh with faith. Anxiety requires a tremendous emotional investment. The tension it causes can take years off our lives (who can add one cubit?). It can also silence our gratitude.
Some fears are real. Most fears are not. All fears are covered by Jesus’ invitation: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Interestingly, only John, of all the gospel writers, records these words from Jesus. Also John had more to say about fear than any other letter writer in the NT. Like most every problem we face, John found the solution to fear in God’s love. If we trust in God’s love, then fear dissipates. “Perfect love casts out fear.”
The fears that threaten you as you read this devotional will be silenced only by a growing trust in a loving God. You must cling to the conviction that God’s providence is more powerful than the object of your fear. Delve more deeply into God’s perfect love for you. He will still the fears that assault you. He will give you the peace you need.
Dr. Terry Ellis
December 10, 2012