We live in a culture where fear is normal. Fear is the standard, and we hear it every single day on the news. Another mass shooting. Another hurricane. Another person abducted. Another house burned down in flames. Another flood. People hungry, people angry, people upset at the government.
Death. Destruction. Loss. Death. Destruction. Loss. Death. Destruction. Loss. It's a seemingly endless song. Turn on the news, or pull up a news station's headlines on a computer, if you can. Tell me the kinds of headlines you're seeing. You're probably hard-pressed to find many positive stories, right?
My boss and I were talking the other day about a session she attended at a children's ministry conference. She said, "You know, kids growing up these days don't know a life without terrorist attacks happening pretty regularly. When I was growing up, I felt safe in all the places that a kid should: school, home, church, and public events. Kids these days may not have that same feeling of safety. Even on a subconscious level, that thought could very well be in their minds. They aren't seeing hope."
That threw me for a loop. I sat there for a minute, soaking in that statement. I thought about the ramifications of what that all meant, and came to this conclusion: for our culture, fear is comfortable. Fear is normal. It's something we're used to, something we deal with all the time.
Even if it's not the kind of fear we experience when we watch a scary movie, the worry we take on can lead to gut-wrenching anxiety. Have you ever had a night where you just couldn't turn off your mind and sleep? Where you had a million responsibilities, fears, and what ifs wreaking havoc in your mind? Me, too. I think we all have.
When fear is the standard, hope is the antidote.
You are not captive to fear. While fear is common and comfortable, we don't have to choose to live into it. We can choose to keep our eyes above our fear, fixed on the One who is our hope!
2 Timothy 1:7 has become one of my favorite verses ever since I was a kid. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
I think that's important to note: go back and read the first part of that verse. "For God has not given us..."
The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Kind of like that cycle I mentioned earlier: Death. Loss. Destruction.
God is not a giver of fear. He is the giver of light, life, love, hope, and peace!
I am so grateful that we can rest assured in His embrace as we live in a culture full of fear.
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