The world seems to have lost its center," the national news anchor said, introducing the broadcast. Her words echoed my sentiments and that of everyone watching, no doubt. Unlike Stanley Kramer's epic comedy film, there was nothing funny about it. Headlines as the Fall season opened included…
"It was already the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Now it's moving into Africa's cities."
"Russian Soldiers Reveal the Truth Behind Putin's Secret War"
"ISIS grabs headlines, but Al Qaeda remains top threat to US, experts say"
"California Wildfires: Sand Fire Destroys More Homes ...Yosemite fire grows"
"China Earthquake 2014: Death Toll Rises To 589 Even As Landslides Hinder Search Effort"
"Indonesia's volcano erupts, evacuation prepared"
"GENOCIDE: Christians, religious minorities flee violent persecution in Iraq"
"Refugees face famine in South Sudan - Africa"
"U.S. confirms video showing beheading of second American journalist is real"
"Near miss: Bus-sized space rock to fly dangerously close by Earth"
Enough already! After a summer of death and destruction, it was no surprise to learn that my adult children talked into the early morning hours about what's happening in our world. Clearly, there is no such thing as a "slow news day" anymore. My husband and I tune in to the nightly newscast with the anticipation of an action flick!
Jesus warned, "People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken." Luke 21:26 (NLT)
It feels as if our world is unraveling, but God's Word is reassuring; "Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass…" Isaiah 46:10 (NIV)
Have you read lately what Jesus said about the signs of His return?
"And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don't panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won't follow immediately. Then He added, "Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are My followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about Me." Luke 21: 9-13 (NLT)
David wrestled when things seemed out of control in his day…
"The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do? But the Lord is in His holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven." Psalm 11: 3, 4 (NLT)
The Reformer, Martin Luther, dealt with the dichotomy in his hymn:
A Mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing...
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us...
Last month, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris shared his story on 100 Huntley Street. The badly wounded warrior talked about coming out of a medically induced coma after his Humvee was struck by an IED in Iraq. Devastated to learn that three young men with him that day were killed, he cried out to God "needing comfort that was not of this world". God answered that prayer as only He can for
the soldier turned advocate.
"‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
Heaven is not undone by current events. They have been foretold by the Redeemer, who is preparing our eternal home. So let me encourage you to embrace my favourite definition of "fearing God".
The Hebrew word here is not "pachad" (terror), but "yirah" (being in awe of God). A person who fears God is one who sees the hand of God in everything.
"He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals His thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is His Name." Amos 4:13 (NIV)
Recently I discovered a favourite Scripture in an unexpected context: "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
That is our mission at Crossroads, taking the message and ministry of Christ to a troubled world, "making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16 (NIV)
Thank you for standing with us.
Written by Moira Brown.