Thursday, June 22, 2017

Living with Terrorism

Chuckle: "If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would’ve put them on my knees!"
Quote: "When I stand before God at the end of my life I hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and can say, 'I used everything you gave me!'" --Erma Bombeck

"The Lord is my light and my salvation -- so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger -- so why should I tremble?" (Psalm 27:1 NLT).
Fear is a dark and foreboding feeling that can ultimately make us prisoners within ourselves. I’m sure we all live with a nagging uneasiness about being attacked by terrorists or other criminals. We are reminded every day that ruthless people do not hesitate to kill innocent men, women, and children to further their selfish and irrational religious, political, or economic causes. As God's people, we must turn to our source of comfort and strength and trust Him. Remember, He stands ready to free us from the insidious feelings of fear and anxiety if we will only trust Him completely. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NIV).
God would have us remember that our eternal destiny is secure through the blood of Jesus and cannot be changed by terrorists or anyone else. We can find peace in the face of the storm of cruelty and chaos from the Prince of Peace. Jesus said, "Don't be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul" (Matthew 10:28 NLT). God doesn’t want us to live in a state of panic or worry about what could happen to us.
So, what should we do in the face of the growing threat to our safety and well-being? One thing is certain. Having a strong faith should not translate into carelessness or foolhardiness. God wants us to trust Him, but He has given us wisdom to understand that we should adopt safe practices and take precautions as we go about our daily lives. This does not mean you are overcome by uncontrolled fear or panic, but rather are acting wisely. Staying alert for suspicious actions, sights, and sounds around you can provide early warning that something bad is about to happen and could save your life or the lives of those you love. We should all be vigilant.
I believe the terrorist and other criminal threats we face should impact the way we pray. Obviously, we should pray for God's protection of our troops and law enforcement officers fighting the war on terror and other criminal activity. But, how about our prayers for the terrorists and criminals? Listen to the psalmist's prayer: "Arise, O Lord, in anger! Stand against the fury of my enemies! Wake up, my God, and bring justice" (Psalm 7:6 NLT). Outrage because of what's happening seems appropriate when asking God for His protection and justice for the perpetrators.
Now, here's the tough part. Jesus said, "You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemies. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:43-44 NIV). It is possible to love our enemies while despising the things they do. This is how Jesus loves you and me when we sin. We can pray that the hearts of the terrorists will experience the love of the one true God and that their lives will be transformed by His mercy and grace.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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