(Note: I will get back to the series on the Ten Commandments in the coming weeks, please stay tuned)
Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, drought and erupting volcanoes are prominent in the news. Natural disasters are not rare; they never have been and they never will be. Wars and altercations between citizens and their own governments are also in the news. These situations are not extraordinary, either. Politicians are trying to persuade their constituents that they have the solutions to all of the world’s problems, while freedoms are being sucked into the oblivion of tyranny. This is not uncommon, either. As Solomon so eloquently stated, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) What do we do? How do we process the happenings in the news? Do we get angry? Cower in fear? Or place it all in proper perspective?
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
(Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise.
(Psalm 111:19 NIV)
Anger is not a sin; letting it consume you is. Yes, we all get angry when we see injustice, but allowing the anger to fester is deadly. The crime and corruption in the world have been and always will be rampant, because mankind is fallen and sinful. We do not lock our doors at night because man is basically good, as some people would like to believe; we lock them because criminals are out there. Getting angry at politicians and various other criminals is a natural part of living. However, when that anger engulfs your life, you are letting the devil have a very strong foothold, and that leads you straight down the wide path to destruction. Injustice is everywhere, but getting mad and hateful will do nothing to correct the problem. Righteous indignation is the passion to stand up for what is good and fight what is evil; it is not about hateful anger that leads to sin. Jesus cracked a whip and over-turned the tables in the Temple when He saw injustice – He stood for what was good, against what was evil – He did not walk around the Temple, call people names and use profane language to show a sort of hateful superiority over those who were practicing evil. If Twitter had existed in Jesus’ time, He would have been trolled excessively by people who believe that you can fix the world’s problems with vulgarities and insults. Hateful anger will block your view of Truth.
Fear, as described in the Scripture above is not to be confused with anxious fright. It is, instead, to be ‘in awe of’ or ‘to have reverence for’. Being frightened of world happenings is easy, because there is a lot of scary stuff going on. Natural disasters, terrorism, crime, corruption and politics can cause even the staunchest of souls to cower in dread. However, it is impossible to see the Truth when you are hiding from it. Jesus spelled it out, very clearly, “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 – emphasis added) Proper fear (reverence) for, and trust in God and His perfect Will gives us peace and wisdom. These are the elements of the foundation of Faith that we must stand on to have an appropriate measure of understanding of world (and personal) events.
Allowing anger to overwhelm you and hiding in your fright will only keep you blinded. The news on TV or social media will not give you truth. If you want peace in your heart and a clear view of all that is happening, and all that is to come, look at Jesus; focus on His Word and His purpose. And, pray! Pray without ceasing. The unobstructed perspective of His Eternal Kingdom is your shelter in worldly storms.
May God bless us each with His peace in our hearts.
For extra reading, please see Matthew Chapter 24 and Romans Chapter 8.
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