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www.chicagonow.com

Isaiah 8:11-13

“Indeed this is what the LORD told me.  He took hold of me firmly and warned me not to act like these people.  ‘Do not say, ‘conspiracy’ every time these people say the word.  Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified.  You must recognize the authority of the LORD who commands armies.  He is the one you must respect; He is the one you must fear.'”

2 Kings 6:17

“Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he can see.” The LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that the hill was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Recently I noticed within myself an anxiety.  Fears creeping in over the atrocities all over the world and what it could mean for my children, friends and family, God’s church, this nation. It is certainly human to have such dread when daily we see evil being committed.  But we who are found in Christ do not need to fear what the wicked dread.

It sounds ridiculous to say, “don’t fear”, when people, crazed with hatred fueled by religion are increasing in numbers and attacking at whim.  Until we truly understand how mighty our God is, how He is omniscient, omnipotent, the only One with whom we will have to answer about how we conducted our lives.  It is then that we recognize temporary threats as nothing compared to the greatness of our God.

Still our faith is tested when we consider that nothing happens apart from His permission.  How could God allow evil to continue?  Why does He not squash them in the midst of their evil campaigns?  To ask such questions is to refute the wisdom behind God’s plan, which includes free will.  Although He permits us to choose how to live this life, He holds promises for those who still trust in Him and persevere in that faith, despite the seeming victory of the evil all around them.

The battle is the Lord’s, and it is a spiritual one.  We see the flesh and often cannot see what is transpiring in the spiritual realm.  But, oh to peacefully, sweetly trust in our Maker’s strength, wisdom and promises.  No matter what things look like to our naked eyes, what God is accomplishing even through evil is unbeknownst to us.  Trusting in His goodness and sovereignty is where we can have peace in all circumstances.  Knowing Him and His revealed will is a compass, enabling us to see His purposes are far above are own.

We desire peace on earth, Jesus said there would not be peace – not because He did not want peace, but because He knew the hearts of men.  We essentially want earth to be Heaven, but it is instead a temporary stay in which our eternity is decided.  We fear death, while Jesus, who chose to face the fear of death for us, said death no longer has any sting. Dwelling in the flesh makes it difficult for us to think with a Heavenly mindset, but we have great hope because God warned us about the things transpiring even now and has revealed the end to us, as well.  He knows the end – isn’t that great news?  Here’s a hint – the bad guys do not win!

God is calling us to trust Him with our fears and also trust that whatever He allows into our lives, He will enable us to walk through it and use it for our good.  But what if anxiety is persistent, despite our faith in God?  Our flesh may struggle with fear still, despite all we know about out amazing God – who uses evil and good for His purposes.  We find compassion in our LORD Jesus, who experienced anxiety when He contemplated what He was about to endure, sweating drops of blood – but he did not allow that anxiety to keep Him from doing God’s will.  He saw the greater purpose and trusted God.  If we focus on God and His character instead of the trial at hand, we will have victory – He’s got it all in His hands.

Lord, open our eyes to see that nothing escapes Your notice and You are in complete control.  Our trust is in You alone, Lord.

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