Fear is Rampant
We live in fearful times. For the first time in my life of nearly 5 decades, we as Americans are living under a constant state of alert. During World War II, we read about those who lived along the western coast of the US keeping lights off at night so as not to attract possible Japanese war planes. In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Americans lived in a constant state of readiness under threat of another imminent attack. Now we too are being warned not to go to certain high profile cities and attend large venue concerts and such due to ISIS threats of terrorist activities. The recent attacks in Paris have been a wakeup call that we are in a real war. This is not just places far away any more, it is right here in our own back yard. Schools, coffee shops, movie theaters, shopping malls-all are targets of terror. Another shooting is happening right now in Colorado as I write this.
It Affects Us All
All of this can seem far away to us here in Bend, Oregon, but fear has hit people here as well. One of our local high schools recently had a scare when a troubled kid thought he would pull a prank and threatened to go on a rampage. Thankfully, it was just a prank; however, one father told me that he is afraid to send his kids to school now. When will all this stop so we can resume our quiet, peaceful and secure lives once more? The answer is...maybe never in my lifetime.
Jesus warns us that as humanity rushes ahead into what the Bible terms "the last days", that wars and threats of wars will increase and that mankind would become more and more selfish and hurtful to each other. (Matthew 24:7-12) He describes for us that a world without God gets worse and worse not better. We are beginning to see a world like Jesus described unfold before us today. When a society pushes away the Author of life and love from them, it is left with anything that will fill that void-but be assured, it won't be life and it won't be love. It will be power, control, fear, domination, self centeredness, apathy, cruelty, pride; basically everything that God is not will rush in to take His place. Does this sound familiar? We as a society cannot afford to push God away, the alternative is terrifying.
There Is Hope
Is there any hope? Absolutely and emphatically YES!
“Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.” When we place our trust in God Himself, not our government, not our military might, not Wall Street, not our stock portfolio or retirement account; only then can we be truly secure. I have experienced first hand the protection of God over my family and I.
Safe In His Hands
While at a conference in Istanbul a number of years ago, terrorists bombed the British embassy right next to our hotel. Our hotel was destroyed but those of us who were there working with persecuted Christians from Muslim countries were praying in the basement when the attack happened. We were safe and secure in the hands of God, not a single one of us was injured in the slightest even though there were many casualties that day. "Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion."
In God Alone
We have no control over what goes on in the world around us or even right there in our home town of Bend, Oregon. Still, I am confident in this, the safest place to be is in the Lord's hands. He wants to be our Protector, He wants to be our Provider, He wants to be our healer, but unless we put our trust in Him and stop looking to other things to be our savior, He can't do what He does best. He is very good at being God, will you let Him be yours today?
“Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.” Psalms 125:1 NLT
Pastors Phil Harris of Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.