Friend or Foe?

Matthew 24: 6

And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.

People like to talk about the end of the world or the coming apocalypse. This verse is one of the more popular forecasting verses. It certainly does lead one to conclude we are reaching the end of the age.

The focus people usually take from this scripture is the “wars and rumors of wars.” I think Jesus had a much bigger message in this passage than mere prognostication. He gives instruction saying, “see that you are not frightened.” How overlooked and forgotten these important words are.

Jesus intends to encourage and warn us. He lets us know that, yes, there will be wars, etc., but, he says, let not that fact be your focal point. See that you do not succumb to fear when you hear of wars or rumors of wars. Now, let me ask you this. As a body, how have we done at obeying Jesus in this directive? In your estimation, are more Christians frightened or confident in the face of the tumultuous political climate in which we live?

The tragedy of 911 was calamitous and devastating to Americans. However, the greater damage was done in the psyche of Americans as we bowed to fear and gave up liberty. We chose to bend our knee to the wars and rumors of wars rather than to extend our confidence in Jesus. Overnight we became imbued with fear. One can understand this reaction. Perhaps some even call it wise, but I recognize the ground we have given up in the name of caution and safety. Rather than shrink into our shells like turtles, a better response is emboldened prayer, prayer that relies on and expects God’s power and response. We, too, can pray like David did.

I don’t want to die anymore than anyone else and I certainly do not want my family put at risk but there are things much worse than death. To die is to be with Christ. In fact, you cannot kill me because I already have eternal life. Allowing ourselves to turn into a cowardly race is sacrilege. Letting our hearts become the haven of fear is worse than death, or perhaps it is a death. Jesus died that we might be free. That necessarily means that we are to have hearts that are free and light. There is no fear in love, therefore, no fear in Christ or our Father. Fear is only on Satan’s scorecard. Faith is the measure of God.

What I am suggesting is that we talk to ourselves. When we see things which cause fear to expose itself in our hearts, we need to immediately begin to preach Jesus to ourselves. We should immediately oppose fear. I don’t say it is always going to be easy but if we are to become an overcoming people, then we need a strong backbone. We cannot stand without a backbone. Paul taught us to stand firm. He knew, as Jesus warned, that difficult times arise. However, without regard for whatever challenge the devil concocts, we can stand against those trials because the Lord Jesus has already defeated all evil. He is victorious. He is the Lord.

Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world,” (1 John 4: 4). These words must begin to have actual, real meaning and genuine application in our lives. Fear is your foe. Do not let it have a nesting place in your heart.